[Source: OFC Media via Phototek]
Vanuatu got off the mark in Group A at the OFC Futsal Nations Cup 2023 with an impressive 20-2 victory over Tonga on Match Day 2.
Having succumbed to a 6-3 defeat to New Zealand in their opening fixture on Match Day 1, Vanuatu were keen to hit back and dominated a contest that, at times, threatened to spillover physically.
Only 40 seconds were on the clock when Kevin Donald opened the scoring. Tapping in from close range after Michel Coulon had delicately lifted the ball over goalkeeper Semisi Otukolo.
Three goals in six minutes essentially killed the match off. Jayson Timatua began the deluge, with further goals added from Donald again and Sandy Mesau to put Tonga in deep trouble.
Vanuatu were awarded two penalties in the space of a minute but could only convert one. Yassin Berukilukilu’s attempt cracked off the top of the bar but seconds later Steve Nona showed greater accuracy – smashing his effort into the roof of the net.
Any hopes of a Tongan comeback were thwarted early in the second period when goals from Coulon and an own goal stretched Vanuatu’s lead. Martin Gete added a eighth not long after.
Tonga did give their fans something to cheer when Hemaloto Polovili swept home from close range before Gete added his second in response.
Christopher Kefu grabbed another for Toga but they couldn’t contain Vanuatu at the other end as the scoreline continued to build until full-time.
Tonga: 2 (Hemaloto POLOVILI ’29’, Christopher KEFU 34′)
Vanuatu: 20 (Kevin DONALD 1′ 15′, Jayson TIMATUA 10′ 34′ 37′ 39′, Sandy MESAU 17′ 34′, Steve NONA (P) 17′ 39′, Michel COULON 22′, 33′, 40′, Own Goal 24′ Martin GETE 28′, 30′, George MAHIT ’31, 32′ 36′, Kemly LEHI 35′)