While this year’s host of the OFC Nations Cup, Papua New Guinea opened the Cup with a draw against the team from New Caledonia, the Samoan team did not have so much luck in their first match of the tournament.
The National Team lost the match against the tourney’s former winning team, Tahiti, with an end result of 0:4 goals.
The match was a one-sided affair from the outset as Tahiti raced to a two goal lead inside the opening five minutes courtesy of a brace by Teaonui Tehau.
The Tahitians made it 3-0 in the 15th minute when Steevy Chong Hue rifled his shot into the top right corner from inside the box.
Alvin Tehau joined the party in the 36th minute with a cool finish off a slick pass from the lively Teaonui Tehau.
Tahiti coach Ludovic Graugnard made a double substitution at half-time as all intensity went out of the game.
The French Polynesians maintained a total control in the second half but they took their foot of the pedal.
Despite creating a number of opportunities to score, they were unable to add to the first half tally as Samoa fought hard to keep the score respectable.
Tahiti’s coach Graugnard wasn’t at all happy with his side’s second half performance.
“We know the first match is never easy in a competition like this, especially against a side like Samoa which is physically strong. In the first half we played our game but I’m not very happy with the way we played in the second half, technically and physically.
“It’s a match where we really should have scored more but based on the second half performance we really need to work on several areas to reactivate our objectives.”
Meanwhile, Samoa national coach Scott Easthope said it was a tough night for his players.
“It was a very nervous start by the boys and in the first half with the ball we were just not accurate enough to maintain possession, and if you give a good side a lot of possession, they will do that to you.
“In the second half we made a bit of improvement possession wise but still, maybe they just didn’t take their chances well in the second half. Certainly for some of our boys this is a big jump, you can imagine the level required back in Samoa is a lot different from here, so some of our boys probably felt that in game one and we should be a lot better in game two.”
This is the first time for the Samoan team to reach the cup’s second stage. Despite this first defeat, the National team still has a chance to enter the cup’s knockout stage as there are two matches of the tournament’s group phase remaining.
The first one will be against New Caledonia on the 1st of June while the last match of the group stage against host team P.N.G. will take place on the 5th of June. With the nation’s independence day coming up on the day of the second match, coach Scott Easthope’s team might try the best to make their country proud on this special day.