Group B: Match 7 -Tonga survives Cooks scare
The Cook Islands could well have felt unlucky not to have at least emerged with a draw after pushing the Tongans throughout the match, coming close to scoring on many occasions.
Only the brilliant goalkeeping of the one of the tournament's bright spots, Tonga's Kavakava Manumua and the framework kept the Cooks scoreless.
The Cooks had their best chance to equalise on the 90th minute when Eugenie Tatuava hit the crossbar with his shot from 25 yards out.
Young striker Campbell Best was tireless on attack constantly causing havoc in the Tongan defence which had held New Zealand scoreless just days earlier.
In contrast, the organisation and movement that Tonga demonstrated against New Zealand was no where to be seen. The Tongans were static on attack and found wanting in defence on more than one occasion.
Even after a tired looking start to the game, the Tongans got their noses in front when Lafaele Moala scored in the 25th minute. But thereafter, the Tongan coordination on attack deteriorated as passes did not find their mark.
The Cooks defended stoutly and were effective on the counter-attack. However, they were denied by a combination of poor finishing the scrambling Tongan defence. The excellence of Manumua saved Tonga on more than one occasion with Sitenilesili Mafi unable to marshal defenders consistently as he had done in the previous games.
Tongan coach Milan Jankovic would not have been happy going into the break 1-0.
The second half stalemate began to frustrate players on both sides. The cold and rainy conditions did not help either.
The desperation from both sides began to show and both teams ended up losing a player midway through the second stanza.
First Tongan defender Kava Huihahau was shown his second yellow card and subsequently sent off by Fijian referee Intaz Shah. Then Cook Island's Ngatokotoru was shown the red card for a serious foul on an attacking Tongan player.
The match ended in a ten-a-side contest with chances for both sides, the better opportunities presented to the Cooks but they were unable to snatch the equaliser.
Match 7: Tonga vs Cook Islands / Statistical Review
Full-time score: 1-0 (Tonga)
Half-time score: 1-0 (Tonga)
Date/Time: Tuesday, 20 January - 5:00pm (NZT)
Scorers: Tonga - (11) Lafaele Moala 25
Cautions: Tonga - (2) Kava Huihahau 64
Expulsions: Tonga - (2) Kava Huihahau 73'; Cooks - (4)Ngatokotoru Orii Mingi 80'
Weather: Overcast, cool, some rainy periods
Crowd attendance: 100
Referee: Intaz Shah (Fiji)
Assistant Referee 1: Neil Poloso (Solomon Islands)
Assistant Referee 2: John Peacock (Australia)
Fourth Official: Simon Micallef (Australia)
Match Commissioner: Madiu Andrew (PNG)
Referee Inspector: Ken Wallace (New Zealand)
Team Line-ups (& Substitutes)
1. Kavakava MANUMUA (GK)
2. Kava HUIHAHAU
4. Sitenilesili MAFI (c) (-73')
5. Petelo VAIHU
7. Mark UHATAHI (-56')
8. Kamaliele PAPANI
9. Unaloto Ki-Atenoa FEAO (-78')
11. Lafaele MOALA
12. Solomone MOA
13. Makatuu MOEAKI
15. Lisiate KOANETI
3. Ipeni FONUA
6. Maamalua TEVI
10. Filisione TAUFAHEMA (+56')
14. Penisimani PAU (+73')
16. Lenitua-O-Lakepa MAFI (+78')
17. Folio MOEAKI
18. Ika Takaimoana VAVE
20. Frederick SAAFI
Coach: Milan Jankovic
1 Romeo VAINE KEU (GK)
3 Roururoroa UNE
4 Ngatokotoru ORII MINGI
5 Paul - Luiz VAN EIJK
7 Christian Moerai TAUIRA
8 Eugenie TATUAVA
13 David Norman ANGENE
16 Teariki MATEARIKI (-80')
17 Victor SAMUEL (-59')
18 Campbell John BEST
19 Tuka TISAM
2 Tereroa MATAIO
6 Anonga Nardu TISAM
9 Teatu-R. ROURU PUTERE (+59')
10 James Thomas VARNEY
11 Michael Charles VARNEY
12 Samuel SHEPHERD
14 Henry John MUNRO (+80')
15 Tereapii ANGENE
20 Taranivao Taikava TEKEU
Coach: Jimmy Katoa
Last Modified on 25/01/2004 13:51