Tahiti have taken out the three-match international friendly futsal series after beating New Caledonia 5-2 in the final encounter on Friday evening in Papeete.
It was the second win for the Aito Arii who had taken a 2-1 victory in the first match before going down 3-2 to the visitors in the second.
It was New Caledonia’s Cagous who made the quickest start to the final encounter, with Timothee Delaunay setting off on a counter attack, dribbling the goalkeeper Hiti Ariiotima and scoring into an empty net in the third minute.
The lead lasted little more than a minute as Smith Tino got the equaliser in the fourth minute.
Once again Les Cagous used a counter attack to their advantage with Azer Xuma this time putting the ball in the back of the net to make it 2-1 to the visitors at the break.
For Tahiti the second half was their best of the three matches combined as they scored four goals, without conceding any.
In the 24th minute Tino once again got on the scoreboard with an absolute bullet into the back of the net. Tane Tave was next on the board when he put the finishing touch on a collective effort from the team.
Manutea Blumet joined Tino on a brace after scoring in the 30th minute, and again six minutes later to secure the 5-2 win and the series title.
Aito Arii player-coach Jacob Tutavae said the first half wasn’t a catastrophe but his side did commit a large number of errors which is what put them behind.
“We were too impatient. We needed to drop off a bit and apply the tactics we’ve learned. It’s a bit like a poem and trying to recite it as best you can,” Tutavae said.
“That’s what I asked of them at half-time, recite back what we have learned. We then managed to score four, I’m incredibly proud of the players.”
Tutavae said the morning of the match he got the team together at 4am because he was adamant they needed to win.
“I shone the spotlight on the negative aspects of the first two matches to try and eliminate being too personal. We can’t just play to attack, but we have to remember to come back, to utilise the skills and techniques everyone possesses.”
Tutavae said the Aito Arii will continue to train for the upcoming OFC Futsal Championship in 2019 and hopes further international matches will be on the agenda.