The American Samoa futsal team earned its first points of the tournament following a 4-4 tie in their fourth game of the competition on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.
With three points for a win and one point for a draw, American Samoa has one going into their last game of the tournament against Tonga on Saturday, October 7, 2017 (New Zealand date and time) at 10 AM at Bruce Pulman Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.
In its other games, they lost to Vanuatu 10-5 in their second game on Oct. 6; lost to New Zealand 19-2 and New Caledonia 9-2 both on Oct. 5 during the OFC Youth Futsal Tournament in Auckland, New Zealand.
“There was a big change in the boys after playing in their first game against the Solomon Islands,” said the team’s coach Tunoa Lui. “Even though we lost by a lot of goals on the second day, by the third day they were comfortable playing together and were more cohesive.”
“Our team gained more confidence in each game and showed it scoring in all of our contests,” the coach said. “We are not taking Tonga lightly, they have a tough team and are in the same boat with us, we both want to win a game.”
Walter Pati has emerged as the team’s leading goal scorer with six to his name, followed by captain, Gabriel Taumua, with three.
AMERICAN SAMOA 4, SAMOA 4
Pati blasted the ball past the goalie to tie up the game 4-4 against Samoa with only 22 seconds left on the clock, a last minute equalizer thanks to a pass from Taumua in a free kick situation for American Samoa.
The score was Pati’s third goal of the game, completing his hat trick that helped American Samoa earn their first and only point so far of the tournament.
At one point in the game Samoa had taken a 4-2 lead against American Samoa, but Taumua put them within one of the lead with a free kick that just went over the goal line before the goalie gathered it back in his arms. Luckily the match officials saw the ball cross the goal line for the goal.
VANUATU 10, AMERICAN SAMOA 5
Vanuatu scored six unanswered goals in American Samoa’s second game of the day as they started off lethargic and tired from their morning game against Samoa.
However, the players dug deep inside and fought back with two straight goals, the first by Joseph Choi, and the other on an own goal thanks to a full length toss by goalie MJ Danielson that was knocked into the back of the net by a Vanuatu player.
Darryl Ulufale provided their third goal, while Austin Kaleopa scored one on an assist from Taumua. Taumua completed American Samoa’s fifth goal with a PK in the last minute of the game.
NEW CALEDONIA 9, AMERICAN SAMOA 2 (OCT. 5)
It was a close game despite the final score, with New Caledonia leading 4-2 by the end of the first half.
Their technical ability came through for them in the second half as they were won the majority of the possession battle.
Pati scored both goals for American Samoa.
NEW ZEALAND 19, AMERICAN SAMOA 2 (OCT. 5)
American Samoa was overmatched in this game, but did score their first goals of the tournament thanks to a brace from Pati, one in each half.