Vanuatu beats Tonga in heavy rain

Vanuatu young star and Otago United forward Victor Maleb's message was clear at the start of his team's World Cup campaign in Honiara that nothing will stop him from scoring goals - even the rain.

"It was very difficult for both teams actually... the rain was just pouring down and the condition was horrible for a good game of football", Vanuatu national Coach Carlos Buzzetti commented at the end of the match.

"But we played better football given the condition of the ground. It was dangerous though, and anyone could have scored and came out winner.

"I am happy we did score goals and we did not conceit any. We hope the weather improves by next week because we need to beat New Caledonia", Carlos says.

Victor Maleb scored a superb long range after drippling past two deffenders according to Carlos. Solomon Islands Football Federation Media Officer Francis Pituvaka earlier on the day said that the Solomon Star newspaper had highlighted Victor Maleb as one of the players to watch out for. Francis said the Lawsontama Stadium was packed on Saturday 23 January. And Victor did score a goal in style much to the satisfaction of soccer fans in Honiara.
Vanuatu was leading 1 - nil at half time. And despite creating scoring chances in the second half, they could not just get the ball on the back of the net. Their second goal came in the dying seconds when midfielder Manu curved a corner kick into the net. Full time: Vanuatu 2, Tonga 0.

Meanwhile Carlos says he will have to concentrate on his team's recovery on Sunday and they should be ready on Monday to take on New Caledonia in their second match of Group A.

In the first Group A match on Saturday, Australia easily beat New Caledonia 12 - 1.

Carlos described the Australian side as the best prepared team in the tournament. He said New Caledonia were quick on their counter-attacks. Something he would have to get his team geared for before Monday.


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