The opening day’s match between Papua New Guinea Fiji was a tight and skilful game with both sides struggling to score the opening and ended up in the final score nil all. With the draw they earned in their first match, they’ve now scored themselves second place after defeating American Samoa 4-1 with five points.
The team sitting before them, Vanuatu are currently with 6 points after winning the two match in their pool’
The climate in New Zealand wouldn’t have been good for the Papua New Guinean team as they came few days before the tournament started. Despite the cold sunny afternoon, the boys were in good form and wouldn’t let the American Samoans break through the tough defense they have when they defeated American Samoa, 5 goals to 1.
Playing very strategically, Papua New Guinea were able to get an idea of their opponent’s game plan and secure the outcome early on in the match with 2 points on the board against American Samoa, who could not produce the results they wanted each time they had an opportunity.
American Samoa had many attempts at goal throughout the match but were each time unsuccessful. The first goal, 16 minutes into the game, was scored off a penalty awarded to Papua New Guinea after the Amarican Samoan goal-keeper mistakenly picked up a back-pass from his own defender.
The ball was passed onto Lap Embal who placed it directly into the left corner of the goalmouth. A roar of excited erupted from the small group of Papua New Guinea community who came to the stadium.
It seemed like American Samoa had the skills to take the ball to the other side of the field but, ultimately, the defense of the Papua New Guinean side was too strong to break through.
Almost 10 minutes after the first goal came the second for Papua New Guinea when their striker, with a display of notable athleticism, cut through the centre of the pitch to send the ball into the back of the net.
Papua New Guinea continued to dominate and in the second half scored an extra three goals, two again from Embal and finally at stoppage time by Nigel Dabinyaba.
In the 54th minute, however, Ismael Herrara got a head to it and claimed a goal for the American Samoan side.
Despite the win, Papua New Guinea coach, Foster, expected more from his team in light of the chances they had to score more goals.