American Samoa lost to Samoa 10-3 in their second game of the OFC U-16 Championship Qualifier at Loto-Tonga Soka Centre in Veitongo, Tonga on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
“This result was really unexpected,” said the team’s coach, Rupeni Luvu. “I really didn’t expect the game to turn out the way it did.”
He was flustered with his team’s performance and said that lack of rest was one of the biggest factors in the players performance against Samoa.
“I think the day after the game they did not rest well,” Luvu pointed out. “It showed with the way they played. Our players that played well were the ones that were well rested. We were able to take care of what hurt us in the last game, and that was cramping. We stressed to the players that they needed to drink a lot of water and they did, for that we are thankful to them.”
Gabriel Taumua scored two goals for American Samoa, and Peter Lauvao scored the third goal to make up the team’s finally tally. For Samoa, three players scored more than one goal each – Falaniko Nanumea (3), Kawasaki Saofaiga (2) and Jarvis Filimalae (2).
In the first half hour of the game, Samoa scored four times before Taumua slotted in a penalty kick in the 41st minute of the game to make it 4-1. Tonga was penalized for a hand ball inside the penalty box, and Taumua converted on the PK.
Taumua again scored after a long shot at goal during the fourth minute of stoppage time to make it 5-2. That was the final score of the first half.
In the 70th minute it was 5-3 thanks to another hand ball awarded to American Samoa, with Peter Lauvao converting on the PK attempt.
But Samoa came back strong and scored five unanswered goals in the last 20 minutes of the game to end American Samoa’s hopes of a comeback.
After the Cook Islands and Tonga’s 0-0 draw in the second game, the final Match Day is a mere formality as none of the other three teams can overcome Samoa’s six points. Tonga, with two points from two games, can only max out at five, while American Samoa and the Cook Islands’ point total cannot go past four.
“We still have one more game to go, and we will take the bad from this game and try to improve on it for our final one against the Cook Islands,” Luvu pointed out. “I need our boys to finish on a high note.”