Tonga impress on debut

Seini Lutu and Mele Akolo celebrate Tonga's first goal at the Youth Olympic Games. Credit: FIFA via Getty Images

Tonga have made an historic mark on the world stage as they performed valiantly against a strong Bolivia side, going down 7-2 in their opening match at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

While it will go down in the books as a loss, for this young group of girls it was an incredible first appearance at a FIFA tournament.

Bolivia were out to prove themselves after an opening loss to Spain and with captain Maria Galvez playing a perfect match it was always going to be an uphill battle for the debutants from Oceania.

Bolivia enjoyed the majority of possession, which by full-time added up to 66 per cent, and had an incredible 63 shots, 33 of them on target with Galvez managing to put four of those shots in the back of the net, with several other efforts coming very close.

Meanwhile Tonga put up a defensive show of a lifetime to keep Bolivia to just four goals in the first half and three in the second and for their efforts also managed a goal on either side of the half.

Seini Lutu scored an inspiring goal when a quick release from the keeper released her up the right, she beat one player before lobbing the Bolivian keeper to become the first Tongan to score in a FIFA tournament.

Unfortunately for Lutu her debut was cut short by injury but her teammates kept up the intensity and were rewarded in the second half when Mele Akolo added a second to the tally with an impressive solo effort after Bolivia pressed forward with the flying keeper.

It was an impressive debut for the Tongans who made their mark by opening and closing their first ever appearance on the world stage with a Sipi Tau, which had the large crowd, and their Bolivian opponents, captivated.

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