30 May 2016

Sport: Tahiti begin title defence in emphatic style

12:11 pm on 30 May 2016

Tahiti made an emphatic start to their Oceania Nations Cup title defence, thrashing Samoa 4-0 at at Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby.

The Francophones raced to a two goal lead inside the opening five minutes courtesy of a brace by Teaonui Tehau.

Steevy Chong Hue hammered his shot into the top right corner of the net to make it 3-0 on the quarter hour before Alvin Tehau completed the scoring nine minutes before halftime.

Tahiti's Steevy Chong Hue was among the goalscorers against Samoa.

Tahiti's Steevy Chong Hue was among the goalscorers against Samoa. Photo: OFC via Phototek

Tahiti coach Ludovic Graugnard wasn't happy with his side's second half performance.

"We know the first match is never easy in a competition like this especially against a side like Samoa which is physically strong. In the first half we played our game but I'm not very happy with the way we played in the second half, technically and physically," he said.

"It's a match where we really should have scored more but based on the second half performance we really need to work on several areas to reactivate our objectives."

Samoa coach Scott Easthope said it was a tough night for his players.

"It was a very nervous start by the boys and in the first half with the ball we were just not accurate enough to maintain possession, and if you give a good side a lot of possession they will do that to you," he said.

"In the second half we made a bit of improvement possession wise but still, maybe they just didn't take their chances well in the second half. Certainly for some of our boys this is a big jump, you can imagine the level required back in Samoa is a lot different from here, so some of our boys probably felt that in game one and we should be a lot better in game two."

Meanwhile Papua New Guinea survived a late onslaught to draw 1-1 with New Caledonia.

Tommy Semmy found himself one-on-one with the keeper and slotted home to put the host in front four minutes before halftime but the Hekari United striker was sent off in the 79th minute for a second bookable offence.

Four minutes later New Caledonia were back on level terms thanks to Jean-Phillippe Saiko, who finished from a cross sent in by Jefferson Dahite.

The referee then awarded the 2012 runners-up a penalty in the 90th minute, for a foul inside the box by Raymond Gunemba, but Cesar Zeoula smashed his shot against the crossbar to the delight of the vocal home crowd.

PNG captain David Muta was proud of his side for holding on for a draw.

"Of course a very good performance from the PNG boys, all of them. We fought really hard from start to the finish. New Caledonia was playing a really good game but the boys were playing hard in defence and we had some chances to bury them but then we went one man down and it was a bit hard to come back from," he said.

Papua New Guinea captain David Muta.

Papua New Guinea captain David Muta. Photo: OFC via Phototek

New Caledonia skipper Bertrand Kai believed a draw was a fair reflection of the match.

"I (am a) bit disappointed with the result, but we accept that we haven't done well in our first match. We knew it would be a hard game because we are playing the home side and they had the crowd with them. We missed a few good chances and that cost us but we at least we came back and got the draw."

The Nations Cup resumes tomorrow with New Zealand and Solomon Islands looking to make it two wins from two against Vanuatu and Fiji in Group B.