The match between Lupe o le Soaga and Tupapa Maraerenga was a crucial decider to determine which team would qualify for the OFC Champions League to be held in Vanuatu in May. The Samoan champions were clearly the dominant team on the field, winning the match with an impressive scoreline of 7-1.
Lupe started strong and opened the scoring at the 23rd minute through English striker Jared Cunniff. However, the team suffered a setback when Andrew Setefano was sent off after receiving his second yellow card for his involvement in a brawl on the pitch. Despite being reduced to ten men, Lupe managed to hold onto their lead until halftime.
In the second half, Lupe continued to dominate the game and capitalized on their numerical advantage. Darren Talilai scored the second goal of the match, taking advantage of the rebound from Tupapa’s goalkeeper. Jamie Mason added another goal to Lupe’s tally after Tupapa’s goalkeeper gifted him a goal.
The substitute Lawrie Letutusa scored Lupe’s fourth goal with a brilliant assist from the wonderkid Michael Tumua Leo, who later scored his seventh goal of the tournament to make it 5-0 for the home team. Tupapa Maraerenga managed to score a consolation goal after a lapse in concentration from Lupe’s defense with a strong finish from Silas Trego, but it was too little too late.
Cunniff scored his second goal of the match after a fantastic individual play, beating two defenders to score Lupe’s sixth goal of the match. Arona Matau, who came on as a substitute, scored the final goal of the game at the 93rd minute to seal Lupe’s dominant 7-1 win over Tupapa Maraerenga.
The Samoans’ coach, Paul Ualesi, must be pleased with his team’s performance, especially after playing with ten men for more than half of the match. The victory has secured Lupe o le Soaga’s place in the OFC Champions League, and they will be hoping to continue their impressive form in the upcoming tournament.