Tahiti earned a 4-3 victory over New Caledonia in a goal heavy encounter at Stade Pater in the second of the two international friendly matches between the two sides at the weekend.
After a 0-0 draw in the first match, both sides made changes to their starting line-ups for the second game with Toa Aito coach Naea Bennett’s most notable change a start for former professional Marama Vahirua.
The home side started well with Alvin Tehau posting several dangerous shots within the first 15 minutes, as did Vahirua, Patrick Tepa and Raimana Li Fung Kuee.
After sustained pressure, Li Fung Kuee got connected perfectly with the cross from AS Dragon captain Tamatoa Tetauira to open the scoring.
Just before the break New Caledonia put the equaliser away after Warren Houala beat Jonathon Torohia in a 1v1.
Fresh legs were introduced for both sides for the second half and it was New Caledonia who took advantage first when Richard Sele nailed a penalty.
Teaounui Tehau connected with a cross from Sylvain Graglia in the 69th minute to bring the sides back in line, before nailing this brace in the 77th minute to return the lead.
Once more Les Cagous hit back with an equaliser as substitute Philbert Outiou found himself unmarked at the back post for a tap in.
The joy of pulling themselves back in line one again was shortlived as Teaonui Tehau has his hatrick two minutes later as he once again got on the end of a perfect pass from Graglia to beat Mickael Ulile.