OFC Nations Cup 2002: Auckland, New Zealand 5-14 July
Match 9, Day Five (Tuesday 9 July):
Group B - North Harbour Stadium
Final Score: Tahiti 3 vs Papua New Guinea 1
Tahiti advances to semis; PNG skipper retires
By Peter Rees - OFC Media Officer
Tahiti coach Patrick Jacquemet was happy to survive a torrid encounter with
Papua New Guinea, which yielded no less than five yellow cards with PNG
replacement Jonah Malus being sent from the field after only twenty minutes
on the field.
In dreadful pitch conditions at North Harbour Stadium on Tuesday, Tahiti
managed to break a 1-1 deadlock at halftime to win 3-1, thanks to two
sensational goals by star striker Felix Tagawa.
Samuel Garcia, who has played club football in France, put Tahiti in front
in the 29th minute with a rocket from 25 metres out. After a brilliant cross
by lanky midfielder Paul Komboi, striker Reginald Davani floated the ball
over the Tahitian goalkeepers head to score a brilliant goal just before
halftime to get PNG back in the match. However, the second half saw Tagawa
come into his own with two great goals to put the game beyond doubt.
Tahiti now advances to the first semi-final (5:00pm) on Friday at Ericsson
Stadium as runners up in Group B. They will face Group A winners Australia.
The prospect of facing the Socceroos seems insurmountable, but Jacquetment
says his players will give it their best shot.
Australia will be very tough to beat but we will try our best, he said.
No matter what the result, we are just happy to have made the semi-finals
and done better than the last OFC Nations Cup two years ago when we failed
to qualify even though we were hosting the tournament.
PNG coach Steve Cain was disappointed his side did not impose themselves in
the second half after an impressive opening stanza. But he feels the team
will return home in a positive frame of mind; the result hopefully providing
a platform to build on for future campaigns.
It is disappointing because I thought we were in for a chance at halftime
but Tahiti played to the conditions better than us in the second half, he
Cain says the teams final standing is a good gauge on where the team is
placed in the Oceania hierarchy after being in the international wilderness
PNG skipper, Joe Aisa announced his retirement from international football
at the after-match press conference. After ten years of service, the
qualified lawyer from Port Moresby says he is now hanging up his boots and
will concentrate on club commitments. He also indicated his willingness to
help out the Papua New Guinea Football Association in a technical role in
Aisa has been a rock at the back for PNG and his uncompromising defense and
uncanny vision has assisted the PNG cause on many occasions. He scored a
goal (from a penalty) against the New Zealand All Whites on Sunday in match
he describes as one of the most embarrassing moments for me in my whole
Ironically, his main career highlight is against the same team, beating the
All Whites in Port Moresby in 1997. Aisa was also a key player in PNG
qualifying for the OFC Nations Cup 2002 in Apia, Samoa back in March. Both
PNG and second placed New Caledonia qualified from that tournament.
29 min - Tah # 7 Samuel Garcia
44 min - PNG # 10 Reginald Davani
50 min - Tah # 9 Felix Tagawa
64 min - Tah # 9 Felix Tagawa
53 min - # 8 Teva Zaveroni replaces # 14 Geiamano Guyon
74 min - # 13 Abel Terevarua replaces # 9 Felix Tagawa
83 min - # 19 Gabriel Wajoka replaces # 10 Tony Senechal
Papua New Guinea
63 min - # 17 Ken Gule replaces # 7 Desmond Sow
68 min - # 8 Jonah Malus replaces # 16 Yanding Tomba
Yellow - # 7 Samuel Garcia TAHITI (19)
Yellow - # 6 Fred Hans PAPUA NEW GUINEA (26)
Yellow - # 14 Francis Moiyap PAPUA NEW GUINEA (80)
Yellow - # 4 Vehia Maurirere TAHITI (80)
Yellow - # 15 Alu Kamake PAPUA NEW GUINEA (83)
Red - # 8 Jonah Malus PAPUA NEW GUINEA (80, 89)
Tahiti: 2. Steeve Fatupua-Lecaill 4. Vehia Maurirere 5. Sylvain Booene 6.
Tetahio Auraa 7. Samuel Garcia 9. Felix Tagawa 10. Tony Senechal 11. Naea
Bennett 14. Geiamano Guyon 17. Angelo Tchen 20. Xavier Samin
BENCH: 3. Iotua Kautai 8. Teva Zaveroni 12. Harry Tong Sang 13. Abel
Terevarua 15. 16. Daniel Tapeta1 Larry Marmaouyet 18. Raimoana Bennett 19.
Papua New Guinea: 2. Joe Aisa 5. Paul Komboi 6. Fred Hans 7. Desmond Sow 9.
Richard Daniel 10. Reginald Davani 11. Selan Elizah 14. Francis Moiyap 15.
Alu Kamake 16. Yanding Tomda 20. David Aua
BENCH: 1. Tapas Posman 3. Enoch Abraham 4. Charlie Somasi 8. Jonah Malus 12.
Michael Lohai 13. Elias Piawari 17. Ken Gule 18. Nasa Wangu 19. Steven Mali
Coach: S. Cain
Referee: Leonie Rakaroi (Fiji)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mouauri (Cook Islands)
Assistant Referee 2: Dhirendra Kewalo (Fiji)
Fourth Official: Derek Rugg (New Zealand)
Match Commissioner: Lee Harmon (Cook Islands)
Referee Inspector: Doug Rennie (Australia)
Crowd: 800 +
Weather: cold, fine
Start time: 5:00pm