Tafea FC snatches injury time winner over Magenta
The dreadlocked defender deflected a free-kick into the net deep into injury time at North Harbour Stadium to seal a 1-0 win for Tafea over the plucky New Caledonian champions.
Both sides ended the Group B opener with 10 men. Magenta's Nicholas Ouka saw red in the 50th minute when, as the last defender, he tugged at the shirt of flying Tafea's frontman Jean Naka Naprapol.
Tafea's numerical advantage last until the 83rd minute when New Zealand referee Peter O'Leary showed Richard Iwai a straight red for an off-the-ball incident involving Magenta captain Andre Sinedo.
Vava's late, late winner saved the match as a spectacle after 90 minutes of aimless kicking, little structure and over hit passes.
The best chance of a dour first half fell to Jean Yelou but the Tafea striker volley attempt at the box of the box ended in an embarrassing air-shot.
Tafea's Moise Poida skimmed the free-kick following Ouka's dismissal over the cross bar before Samson Obed side-footed the Vanuatu side's best chance over the bar after Magenta goalkeeper Michel Hne mis-judged a freekick.
Magenta finished the stronger side with Michel Hmae lobbing a 73rd minute shot onto the bar before Paul Poutinda blasted the rebound over the bar.
Sinedo then sent a glancing header wide in the 88th minute.
But Vava popped up at the far post just when it looked like both sides would end the match with 10-men and a point apiece.
Last Modified on 11/05/2006 22:50