Lupe o le Soaga’s dominant 9-0 win over Veitongo in the OFC Champions League qualifying stage was a strong statement of the team’s capabilities. This victory marked their second consecutive win after their 13-0 win over Ilaoa & To’omata in their first match.
The game saw a number of impressive performances from Lupe o le Soaga players. English striker Jared Cunniff opened the scoring for the Samoans at the 15th minute, and was later joined by defender Andrew Setefano, who added another goal with a header. Cunniff went on to score his second goal of the match with a lob over Veitongo’s goalkeeper at the 40th minute. Team captain Vaa Taualai also stepped up and scored a penalty, contributing to his team’s 9-0 win.
Michael Tumua Leo scored his sixth goal in the competition and fifth for Lupe at the 64th minute. Taualai also scored another goal from the penalty spot two minutes later, and Soliai Letutusa added another with a strong finish at the 70th minute. Darren Talilai scored another goal after a great assist from New Zealand-based Harrison Bolton-Roberts. The ninth goal was an unfortunate mistake by Veitongo’s defense, who cleared the ball onto Sione Fehoko, resulting in an own goal. You can see the highlights of the match by clicking here.
Although Veitongo suffered a heavy defeat, their goalkeeper Semisi Otukolo was praised for his performance, making a number of stops that prevented the scoreline from being even more lopsided – he even saved a penalty-kick from Taualai in the early minutes of the game.
With this win, Lupe o le Soaga will now face Tupapa Maraerenga for a chance to qualify for the OFC Champions League group stage. Only a draw will be enough for them to proceed. Veitongo, on the other hand, has no chance to qualify and will play their final match against Ilaoa & To’omata for pride.