U-17 OFC Championship: Francophone clash will make one of the semifinals

New Caledonia and Tahiti confirmed their favouritism and advanced to the semifinals of the U-17 OFC Championship after beating Samoa and Tonga respectively. It will be the first time they will face each other for a place in a FIFA Youth Tournament.

NEW CALEDONIA VS SAMOA

New Caledonia, favourites prior the start the game, took the lead early in the 13th minute after Antony Levy’s free-kick was headed in by Jean-Philippe Angexetine for the Cagous‘ first goal.

Samoa’s response came quickly in the 16th minute as Pharrell Trainor played a left-footed drive down the left, linking up with Ethelbert Edward and coming out in front of the goalkeeper but the shot went wide.

In the 39th minute the Cagous again had another chance to score, Gregory Diko hit, the goalkeeper hit back and Jean-Philippe Angexetine free on the rebound already in the penalty box shot wide.

In the 45th minute New Caledonia increased the score; Jean-Yves Saiko got the ball, attacked the area and was awarded a penalty. Wonderkid Nolhann Alebate took the penalty and converted for the Cagous to go into the break with a comfortable 2-0 lead.

Nolhann Alebate celebrating the goal – OFC Media

In the second half Samoa had no choice but to put pressure on New Caledonia to try to slow down and consequently then try to tie the match. Early in the second half things got more favourable for the Samoans when Bayron Gohoupe received his second yellow card and was sent off.

In the 59th minutes Pharrell Trainor – Samoa’s best player in the tournament – almost scored when he shot from outside the box and the ball hit the post.

Playing with almost 10-men up front, the Samoans consequently left more space, at the backline and the final blow came in the 88th minute when Nolhann Alebate found Jean-Yves Saiko after a lovely pass, the No. 25 took the Samoan goalkeeper off his line and scored the third.

There was still time for Iwatro Hmuine to score another goal for New Caledonia from the penalty spot in injury time.

TAHITI VS TONGA

Tahiti, as it was against Cook Islands, showed no mercy to an opponent who was technically inferior; they set their pace from the start of the match to the end of the match.

In the 18th minute they opened the scoring with Dylan Hutia, who received a good pass from Ariiheivarau Tama. 32nd minute the top scorer Titouan Guillemant scored his third goal in the OFC U-17 Championship after a terrible mistake by the Tonga goalkeeper – Siosiua Moimoi.

Dylan Hutia celebrating the goal – OFC Media

Tahiti came back into the second half with a lot of pressure on the Tongan team to settle the match once and for all, forcing goalkeeper Siosiua Moimoi to make two spectacular saves to avoid an even greater loss.

But in the 68th minute Titouan Guillemant found Keanan Faure in the penalty area to score Tahiti’s third goal. In the 79th minute Titouan Guillemant found a teammate in the box, and this time it was Teurerearii Vonbalou who scored the fourth for Tahiti.

In the 94th minute Titouan Guillemant himself scored to complete Tahiti’s 5-0 win – the Tefana striker is now tied with Pharrell Trainor (Samoa), Luke Flowerdew and Luke Supyk (New Zealand) as the top scorers of the OFC U-17 Championship.

Tahiti and New Caledonia will face each other on the 21st at 4 pm local time to decide which of the two nations will qualify for the U17 FIFA World Cup this year in Peru.

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