OFC Nations Cup 2002 Auckland, New Zealand 5-14 July
Match 11: Day Six (Wednesday 10 July)
Group A Ericsson Stadium
Final Score: Vanuatu 1 New Caledonia 0
Vanuatu stumbles into semis
By Peter Rees OFC Media Officer
Vanuatu advanced to the OFC Nations Cup semi-finals on Wednesday evening,
but had to rely on a late strike by Richard Iwai in the 76th minute to seal
victory. To their credit, New Caledonia played with much more commitment in
their 0-1 loss to Vanuatu than on Monday when they were thrashed 11-0 by
Vanuatus inspirational coach Carlos Buzzetti admitted it was a step
backwards after losing narrowly to the Socceroos and upsetting Fiji, but he
was glad to have made the semis yet again after doing so two years ago in
New Caledonia made life difficult for us, he said afterwards.
Our players were a bit too quiet for my liking.
The Uruguayan-born coach, who is credited for Vanuatu soccers current
renaissance, says the players did not play according to their game plan of
going wide adding they gave New Caledonia too much room.
He may also be concerned with the piling number of opportunities that have
gone begging. The game seemed headed for an uneventful draw until Iwai
broke through and patiently slotted the ball past the hapless New
Caledonian goalkeeper. There were other golden opportunities and attacking
movements that broke down due to bad option taking.
In three games, Vanuatu had depended on their speed to the ball,
organisation on defence and control in the midfield to qualify, but have
only yielded two goals in three games; one to Iwai and the sole effort by
Willie August Marango against Fiji. This must be a worry statistic
considering there are likely to be fewer chances against the red hot All
Whites, their semi-final opponent. If they are to have any chance against
the All Whites on Friday, they must be more efficient in their finishing.
Buzzetti says his players will give it their all for their country when
they take on the All Whites. Australian Socceroos coach Frank Farina has
described the Vanuatu team has perhaps the best island nation at the
tournament, with All Whites coach Mick Waitt echoing similar sentiments.
Certainly this young side does not stack up on paper with the All Whites in
terms of experience, but never-the-less Buzzetti has managed to organise
his charges into a fit and well organised unit. He expects the All Whites
to play to their strengths and use high, long balls.
Disappointed New Caledonia coach Martinengo Serge De Novack says the
players will learn from the match and the tournament as a whole.
76 min - # 14 Richard Iwai (Vanuatu)
59 min - # 18 Jean Robert Yelou for # 11 Maki Gerard Haitong
72 min - # 19 Philip Tomake for # 15 Pita David Maki
91 + min - # 8 Ali Silas for # 10 Etienne Mermer
45 min - # 8 Steeven Longue for # 10 Marius Mapou
49 min - # 12 Pierre Tidjine for # 9 Lamel Kabeu
72 min - # 13 Robert Kauma for # 11 Stone Longue
12 min - # 10 Marius Mapou NEW CALEDONIA
81 min - # 12 Graham Demas VANUATU
Vanuatu: 1. David Chilia 4. Wilkins Simon Lauru 5. Lexa Bule Bibi 6. Willie
August Marango 9. Seimata Chilia 10. Etienne Mermer 11. Maki Gerard Haitong
12. Graham Demas 14. Richard Iwai 15. Pita David Maki 16. Daniel Koko Alick
BENCH: 2. Ken Masauvakalo 3. Manley Junior Tabe 7. Fedy Vava 8. Ali Silas
13. Sandy Alex Alick 17. Alphonse Welin Qorig 18. Jean Robert Yelou 19.
Philip Tomake 20. Presley John Garae
Coach: Carlos Buzzetti
New Caledonia: 4. Franck Oiremoin 5. Jean Marc Case 6. Gil Elmour 7. Yves
Faye 9. Lamel Kabeu 10. Marius Mapou 11. Stone Longue 14. Andre Sinedo 16.
Jacques Dahote 18. David Hay 20. Justin Dawano
BENCH: 1. Michel Hne 2. Theodore Pian 3. Alain Kecine 8. Steven Longue 12.
Pierre Tidjine 13. Robert Kauma 15. Ricardo Nepamoindou 17. Maurice Cawa
19. Harper Daniel
Coach: Martinengo Serge De Novack
Referee: Charles Ariiotima (Tahiti)
Assistant Referee 1: Tevita Vea (Tonga)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Mouari (Cook Islands)
Fourth Official: Matthew Breeze (Australia)
Match Commissioner: Lee Harmon (Cook Islands)
Referee Inspector: Ken Wallace (New Zealand)
Crowd: 500 +
Weather: Fine evening
Start time: 5:00pm