Football

Tahiti get off to perfect start at OFC Men's Nations Cup 2024

June 16, 2024 2:27 pm

[Source: Oceania Football Confederation via Kirk Corrie]

Tahiti have secured a crucial 2-0 win in their opening match at the OFC Men’s Nations Cup 2024 against Samoa in Suva.

Two first-half goals set Samuel Garcia’s side on their way, despite a resilient and spirited effort from Samoa.

Only four minutes were on the clock when Matéo Degrumelle latched onto a through ball from Manuarii Shan, before prodding an effort that escaped under the grasp of goalkeeper Joel Bartley.

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Degrumelle was a constant threat down the Tahiti right-hand side and almost created a second when he crossed to the back post but Shan could only side-foot his effort wide of the far post.

The vital second goal came not long after however.

Captain Teaonui Tehau doubling the lead – finishing from an Eddy Kaspard cross that had initally evaded Ariiura Labaste.

Samoa grew into the contest towards the end of the first period and almost halved the arrears.

Greg Siamoa worked a neat one-town to break free in the box but could only shoot wide having been closed down well by Francois Decoret in the Tahiti goal.

Minutes later, Dauntae Mariner ran at the defence and let fly with a left-footed effort that thudded off the crossbar and away to safety.

There was a notable drop in pace and intensity in the second-half – perhaps understandable in the hot and humid conditions in Suva.

Tahiti pushed to add to their two goal cushion but were unable to seriously test Bartley in the Samoan goal.

The victory gives Tahiti the perfect start to their campaign, whilst Samoa will look to rebound on match day two on Wednesday, when they face co-hosts Fiji.