American Samoa Womens Football Made History
Jasmine Makiasi made football history for American Samoa tonight when she scored her countries first ever goal - and earned the team's first ever point - in women's international football. Makiasi's equaliser and American Samoa's comeback was the big shock of the XIII South Pacific Games Women's Football Tournament so far though Cook Islands will rue a myriad of missed chances in the first half that cost them a victory that - based on the run of play - appeared a formality.
This impression was given weight when American Samoa's back four stood watching as a long ball from a freekick allowing Isabel Urirau to run through unimpeded and trundle a comfortable finish under Filiga Kerisiano after 24 minutes.
But Cook Islands night went downhill from there with a string of missed chances including a freekick just 6 yards out that Regina Mustoven fired straight into the American Samoa wall. Isabel Urirau turned from hero to villain when she fired a header from point blank range high over the crossbar with Filiga Kerisiano rooted firmly to her line.
Kerisiano - one of three Kerisiano family members in the national side - has wowed the crowds at J.S.Blatter Playing Field with her no-nonsense and uncomplicated approach to goalkeeping and it was this unconventional style that got American Samoa over the finish line.
Cook Islands coach Tim Jerks was disappointed with the result and said his team were capable of much better. "I'm disappointed with the performance. We failed in the top third tonight we had enough chances in the first half to win the game four or five-nil but we just didn't finish.
In the second half we didn't work hard enough and that's unacceptable. The players are very disappointed, you can see that, and we are capable of much better," Jerks said.
By contrast, American Samoa coach Tanoa Lui was understandably excited. "This is a very good result for us the feeling is hard to describe. We had two fourteen year olds out there tonight and one who has just turned 39 and I thought we played well.
The players worked very hard and we are very emotional at the moment," Lui said.
American Samoa goalkeeper Filiga Kerisiano was in tears at the final whistle following the historic result. "We played very well and I am excited to be here. This result means so much to all of us," Kerisiano said.
American Samoa's next match is against the might of Fiji on Thursday 30th August (1500hrs GMT-13) while Cook Islands meet Solomon Islands (1800hrs).
AMERICAN SAMOA 1 (Isabel Urirau 24th min)
COOK ISLANDS 1 (Jasmine Makiasi 63rd min)
AMERICAN SAMOA: 1. Filiga KERISIANO; 4. Tofaagaolii OLOALUGA; 5. Fetu LAKISA; 7. Angela SAO; 8. Lelamay KERISIANO; 9. Meleane KERISIANO; 10. Ivette HERRERA(14. Ora BROWN 63'); 11. Sandra HERRERA (19. Titula NAUER 66'); 13. Momi ENE (2. Maria SEFO 91'); 15. Jasmine MAKIASI; 18. Jermaima Fautino KALEOPA.
Coach: Tanoa LUI
Subs not used (remplaÃÂ§ants n'ayant pas jouÃ¨): 3. Regina WRIGHT; 6. Lita TAOTOTO; 12. Beaulah ONEY; 16. Nellie TAUMANUPEPE.
Red cards: None.
COOK ISLANDS: 1. Heimata HEATHER ; 2. Linda MATANGARO ; 4. Helen PATIA ; 6. Teariivahine HENRY ; 7. Mii PIRI (Elizabeth HARMON 61'); 8. Edwina MATENGA ; 9. Isobel URIRAU ; 10. Regina MUSTONEN ; 13. Tekura KAUKURA ; 14. Tupou PATIA ; 17. Teremoana HEWETT (16. Vaine NAPA 66').
Coach: Tim JERKS
Subs not used (remplaÃÂ§ants n'ayant pas jouÃ¨): 5. Edwina TUTU ; 11. Melanie RAKEI ; 15. Ana TUAKEU ; 20. Mareta ANGENE.
Cautions: 10. Regina MUSTONEN 27'.
Red cards: None.
Referee: Job Ponis MINAN (PNG)
Assistant Referee: Tevita MAKASINI (TON)
Assistant Referee: Kaleti MATAPULE (SAM)
Courtesy of Oceania Football Confederation