26 Nov 2011

Sport: Two Samoas prepare for stage one of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier

11:18 am on 26 November 2011

Hosts Samoa and neighbours American Samoa are set for a winner-takes-all showdown on the final day of the OFC Stage 1 Qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

American Samoa now need to win Saturday's crucial match while a point will be enough for Samoa to take the title and progress to the second stage.

With home advantage and arguably the strongest set of players, Samoa went into the tournament as warm favourites and will have expected to still be in the running by this stage.

But the fact that American Samoa's hopes are still very much alive is far more of an eyebrow-raiser.

Perennial underdogs, the Thomas Rongen-led team had never posted a win in FIFA qualifying when they arrived in Apia.

But put that right with a shock 2-1 success over Tonga on the opening day.

The fairytale continued yesterday against Cook Islands with another historic result - the country's first ever draw.

Samoa posted a 1-all against Tonga to reach this stage.