Vanuatu finishes second in Group B after 3-2 win

OFC release - Vanuatu secured second place in Group B of the 2003 OFC U-17 Qualifying Tournament with a hard fought 3-2 win over Tahiti in the last match of the group tonight at Maroochydore Soccer Centre in the Sunshine Coast, Australia.
Vanuatu leapfrogged New Zealand to finish second on the final standings after the Solomon Islands held the kiwis to a 0-0 draw in the first match of the evening.
Tahiti pushed Vanuatu all the way and were still in the game with twenty minutes to go in the match and on level terms at 2-2. But Vanuatu striker Sylverstone Kanegai answered his country's call by scoring the game winning goal in the 74th minute.
Vanuatu went into the break with a narrow 2-1 lead thanks to goals to Charles Ligo after two minutes and John Alick Harry just before half-time. Tahiti scored through Tahi Jason in the 15th minute.
The second half began with both sides fiercely trying to gain the upper hand. The increasingly difficult playing conditions coincided with the contest taking on a more physical nature as the main pitch began to deteriorate after the two earlier games were hampered by rainy spells.
Three cautions were dished out in the middle of the second half and Tahiti were able to capitalise on frustration from their opponents by stunning Vanuatu with an equalising goal in the 67th minute. From there Vanuatu were able to regain their composure to orchestrate the game winning goal in the dying stages.
Afterwards, Vanuatu technical director and national coach, Carlos Buzzetti was all smiles and his elation was also reflected on the joyous celebrations by the players.
"It was very satisfying to come through after such a tough game. We're happy to come second in this tough group and proves our second place at the Oceania U-16 tournament last year was no fluke," he said.
"We lost two of our best players, including our top goal scorer, before the game due to suspension from carrying two yellow cards into this match, but the others responded well and kept their composure. Tahiti played well and really took the game to us."
The final playoff will now take place on 28 February and 5 March and decide who represents Oceania at the FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland this August.


2003 OFC U-17 QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT
GROUP B (MATCH 15): Vanuatu vs Tahiti
KICK-OFF TIME: 6:00pm
VENUE: Maroochydore Soccer Centre, Sunshine Coast

HALF-TIME SCORE - 3-2 Vanuatu
FULL-TIME SCORE - 2-1 Vanuatu

CAUTIONS - # 7 Charles Ligo (VAN) 54'; # 6 Horoi Jeff 54' (TAH); # 4 Geoffrey Lego Lete (VAN) 59'
EXPULSIONS - none

WEATHER/CROWD - rain, humid - crowd: approx 250+

MATCH OFFICIALS - Referee: Gidas Bayung (Papua New Guinea), Assistant Referee 1: Hillary Ani (Papua New Guinea), Assistant Referee 2: David Crichton (American Samoa), Fourth Official: Mark Shield (Australia)


TEAM LISTS (goal-scorers, subs):

Vanuatu:
2. JOHN BERRY DANIEL, 3. ROGER JOE, 4. GEOFFREY LEGO GETE, 5. RICHARD HENRY KARAI, 6. DARREN TASSO (sub Manuel Peter 34'), 7. JOHN ALICK HARRY (goal 34') (sub John Varaismaite 55'), 8. CHARLES LIGO (goal 2') (sub Alson Kaitak 76'), 10. BULA CHILLIA, 12. SYLVERSTONE KANEGAI (goal 74'), 14. GEORGES TABE, 20. MASSING JOEBEM

SUBS - 1. CHANTY KALNASEI, 9. RAUL PETER, 11. JOHN VARAISMAITE, 16. DAVIDSON TARILIU, 19. FABRICE SAMSON, 17. MANUEL PETER, 18. ALSON KAITAK
COACH - Samson Vurevur


Tahiti:
1. DUROT TEVA, 2. AUSSU KEVIN, 3. KAIMUKO TEVA, 4. WALKER APATEA, 5. TERIITAU MIHAU MATAHI, 6. HOROI JEFF (sub Raiarii Legayic 61'), 7. OHIU IOTUA, 9. TAHI JASON (goal 15'), 10. POROIAE HIROANA, 17. BAUDINO MANU (sub Mou Fat Landry 74'), 19. SINJOUX TINOMANA (goal 67')

SUBS - 8. TINORUA TEMARII, 12. MENESSON HITI, 13. MOU FAT LANDRY, 14. LEGAYIC RAIARII, 15. AUMERAN TUATINI, 16. TEAI TAUHITI, 18. PUTOA TEHONO, 20. TEAMOTUAITAU TAEHAU
COACH - Bruno Tehaamoana


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