Tahiti triumph against Vanuatu in difficult encounter

July 8, 2024 4:01 pm

[Source: OFC Media via Phototek]

Tahiti has clinched an all-important three points after edging Vanuatu 1-0 at the OFC U-19 Men’s Championship 2024 in Samoa.

12 minutes into the match and Tahiti were awarded a penalty after a cross struck the hand of Vanuatu’s Jean Patriano Natou. Up stepped Franck Papaura who sent his spot kick over the crossbar.

Papaura was presented with another chance, a ball clipped across the 18-yard box found his feet, unfortunately he scuffed his shot sending it wide of the target.

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A wonderful free kick from Cedovan Taniel saw Vanuatu’s goalkeeper Joseph Nakou, spring into action, making a great low save to deny the Tahitians.

Tahiti had the better of the opening 45 minutes but had nothing to show for it at the break.

Vanuatu drew first shot in the second period, a quick counterattack, saw Sergio Waoute race down the middle of the field before force a good save out of Keahinui Heinis in the Tahiti goal.

Again, the Tahitians were caught on the break by Waoute, the striker managed to skip around the on rushing Heinis but couldn’t regain his composure scuffing his shot well wide of the goal.

Desperately seeking what would be a crucial winning goal, Tahiti found it. Papaura latched on to a fine cross from Bradley Ruiz at the near post, steering his shot past Nakou.

Papaura should have had another, after being found free in the box following a cross, he could only fashion a shot directly at the goalkeeper.

The victory for Tahiti leaves them still needing a result against the Solomon Islands, while Vanuatu needs a win against Fiji and hope results go their way on Thursday, to have a chance to progress.