OFC U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP TAHITI 2008
PAPEETE – New Caledonia and Tahiti have pushed themselves into pole position to take out the OFC U-20 Championship Tahiti 2008 after both scoring exciting wins on Match Day Two of the tournament.
New Caledonia sunk three first half goals past Fiji en route to a comfortable 3-0 win while Tahiti left it till the 89th minute to clinch a vital three points over New Zealand in a passionate encounter.
New Caledonia and Tahiti now lead the four team tournament and will head into the final match day on Wednesday (local time) knowing that a win could potentially send them to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt next year.
Tahiti will face the winless Fijian side, while New Caledonia are up against New Zealand, who could also still qualify should they beat New Caledonia and Fiji upset Tahiti.
Tahiti had to fight back from a goal down against the Kiwi’s who took an early lead through Wellington Phoenix striker Costa Barbarouses in the 23rd minute.
But Tahiti battled to stay in the game which was preceded by a 15 minute downpour of rain which made the field slick and the air very muggy.
With New Zealand looking quite composed in the early stages, Tahiti began to take the game to the visitors as the match developed and looked dangerous on the counter attack, stretching the Kiwi’s out wide with their pace on the wings.
One minute before half time the complexion of the match changed as New Zealand midfielder Adam McGeorge was shown a straight red for a dangerous challenge.
Tahiti came out buzzing in the second half, sensing a real opportunity and made their one man advantage count in the 66th minute when Garry Rochette scored the goal of the tournament. His 30 yard rocket flew no higher than six yards from the ground throughout its journey into the New Zealand net.
Tahiti always looked dangerous from set pieces and they finally got reward from one in the 89th minute when Ariihau Teriitau bundled the ball home after receiving a knockdown from a corner.
For Tahiti Coach Lionel Charbonnier the win was the result of a solid preparation campaign and an incredible team spirit.
“The team played very well and did exactly what I asked of them,” Charbonnier said.
“But our mission is to win the tournament and that is not yet complete so our celebrations are a little muted.
“I thought we defended extremely well, and showed great concentration at the back.
“We didn’t play to our potential against New Caledonia and I felt that was a bad draw for us, but I was confident heading into the game against New Zealand because we always play well against the good teams.
“During our championship here in Tahiti we meet big teams like AS Manu Ura and Pirae, and we always rise to the big occasion so I was confident we could do it again.”
Charbonnier dedicated the win to ‘the teams biggest fan”, the 23 year old sister of squad member Stephane Faatiarau who passed away two days before the start of the tournament.
“When the winning goal went in it was a very happy moment for me and the team. We have had a week full of difficult moments and adversity, with the loss of our team’s biggest fan and also our leading goal scorer Steeve Chong Hue who broke his shoulder, so it was tough for the team, but we are so happy to triumph through this adversity.”
New Zealand Coach Stu Jacobs admitted Egypt 2009 now seemed a long way away but still vowed New Zealand would do their part of the equation against New Caledonia and pile the pressure on Tahiti.
“We just have to go and beat New Caledonia,” Jacobs said.
“On form you’d say Fiji’s chances of beating Tahiti aren’t good but that’s what you cling to when that’s your route through to a World Cup.”
In the days opening match New Caledonia scored a resounding 3-0 win over Fiji with a positive, slick performance.
They got off to the perfect start in the third minute when Alan Hnautra put his side ahead, capitalizing on a defensive error to slide the ball past the Fijian goalkeeper.
New Caledonia made it difficult for Fiji to settle into the match and compounded their misery in the 22nd minute when Jean Wahnyamalia tucked away a penalty to double the lead.
Wahnyamalia capped off a fine individual performance with a solo goal in the 34th minute, outpacing the Fijian defence before slotting the ball in the bottom corner.
Fiji were reduced to ten men in the second half when Romuero picked up his second bookable offence earned him his marching orders.
Fiji Coach Carlos Buzzetti had to ring a number of changes to his squad after a sickness had brought some key performers down with the flu, and the loss coupled with their earlier loss to New Zealand means their hopes of qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt are over.
New Caledonia now face an epic final round encounter with New Zealand on Wednesay (local time) needing a win to advance to the finals.
OFC U-20 Championship Tahiti 2008
Match Day Two
Kick Off: 16H00 (Local Time)/ 14H00/13H00 (FIJ/NCL)
New Caledonia U-20 (3) 3 (12. Alan HNAUTRA 3', 8. Jean WAHNYAMALLA 22', 34')
Fiji U-20 (0) 0
NCL: 2. Joris GORENDIAWE; 3. Edmond IPUNESSO; 4. Jonathan KAKOU (13. Vincent VAKIE 46'); 5. Jean Claude JEWINE; 7. Maxime CHEVRY; 8. Jean WAHNYAMALLA; 9. Roy KAYARA; 10. Rony ATTI (17. Yoahn AUSU 74') ; 12. Alan HNAUTRA; 14. Jean Philippe SAIKO; 20. Nicolas IWA (GK);
Substitutes not used: 1. Jean Daniel CAEE (RGK); 6. Cesar LOLOHEA; 11. Warren NAXUE; 15. Jihovany LOLOHEA; 16. Theodore HNANGANYAN; 18. Jean TYEA; 19. Yoann BAKO;
Coach: Didier CHAMBARON (FRA)
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
FIJ: 2.Peniame DROVA; 5. ROMUERO; 6. Esava NAQELECA; 7. Sumeet KRISHAN (9. Taione KEREVANUA 35'); 11. Monit CHAND; 14. Velagio DRAUNIMASI; 15. Jese ILIMOTAMA; 16. Ranjesh PRASAD (8. Ratu Vula BONAVEIDOGO 72'); 17. Samuela DRUDRU (4. Josefata NEIBULI 70'); 19. Maciu TUILAU; 20. Filimone BOLETAWA;
Substitues not used: 1. Wasim ALI; 3. Amani MAKOE; 10. Nasoni MEREKE; 12. Archie WATKINS; 13. James MCKAY; 18. Joseva BASUDRA;
Coach: Carlos BUZZETTI (FIJ)
Yellow Cards: 5. ROMUERO 55', 69';
Red Cards: 5. ROMUERO 69'
Referee: Lencie FRED (VAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Revel PHILLIPE (TAH)
Assistant Referee 2: Oito PARI (TAH)
Fourth Official: Jacques AVERII (TAH)
OFC U-20 Championship Tahiti 2008
Match Day Two
Kick Off: 18H30 (Local Time)/ 17H30 (NZL T)
Tahiti U-20 (0) 2 ( 7. Garry ROCHETTE 66’; 5. Ariihau TERIITAU 89’;)
New Zealand U-20 (1) 1(7. Costa BARBAROUSES 23’;)
TAH: 3. Stephane FAATIARAU; 4. Teheivarii LUDIVION; 5. Ariihau TERIITAU; 6. Heimano BOUREBARE; 7. Garry ROCHETTE; 9. Hiva KAMOISE; 11. Stanley ATANY; 19. Marama AMAU; 20. Lorenzo TEHAU; 21. Alvin TEHAU; 22. Teheipuarii HAUATA (GK);
Substitutes not used: 2. Tauirai TEIVA; 23. Ralph HEITAA; 8. Heiarii TAVANAE;12. Rangitea BENETT; 15. Rainui TZE YU; 17. Nahui TEIEFITU; 18. Tehau BENETT; 23. Jason Mathieu;
Injured; 13. Steeve CHONG HUE
Coach: Lionel CHARBONNIER
Yellow Cards: 21. Alvin TEHAU;
Red Cards: None
NZL: 1.Rhyss KEANE; 2. Tim MYERS; 3. Ian HOGG (C); 5. Sam CAMPBELL; 6. Michael EAGER; 7. Costa BARBAROUSES; 8. Adam MCGEORGE; 9. Greg DRAPER (19. Nick KEOWN-ROBSON 62’); 12. Cory CHETTLEBURGH (15. Michael PICKERING 46’) 14. Jonathan RAJ; 17. Jake MATHEWS;
Substitutes not used: 4. Fin MILNE;;10. Milos NIKOLIC; 11. John NIYONSABA; 13. Ash SOLLY; 16. Alex BARLOW; 18. Sam BLACKBURN; 20. Jake GLEESON;
Coach: Stu JACOBS
Yellow Cards: 1. Rhyss KEANE 40’
Red Cards: 8. Adam McGEORGE 44’;
Referee: Varman Rakesh (FIJ)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Joseph (VAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mahit Chilia (VAN)
Fourth Offical: Laurent Quere (NCL)
OFC U-20 Championship Tahiti 2008 Standings: