1 Dec 2011

Sport: Historic American Samoa win will inspire next generation

11:47 am on 1 December 2011

The only member of the current American Samoa soccer team who played in the humiliating thrashing by Australia in 2001, says the team's historic win last week helped erase that bad memory.

Nicky Kalapu was part of the group that suffered a 31-nil defeat against Australia 10 years ago and says he never wants to feel that way again.

American Samoa, 204th and last in FIFA rankings, captured world attention when it beat Tonga in its opening match at the OFC qualifying tournament in Samoa last week, notching its first-ever international win to end a 17 year losing streak.

Kalapu says the win was the best experience he's ever had.

"This team was way better than from the 31-nil loss back in that time but in this tournament it was like we had the most successful time for all the teams and the experience. Generations growing up it's the way they're supposed to be playing soccer."

The American Samoa soccer player, Nicky Kalapu.