FFAS > News > OFC MEN'S U-17 PRELIMINARY 2016 > Tonga 2, American Samoa 0

Tonga 2, American Samoa 0

“It was a disappointing finish for us to close out our tournament with another loss, especially in a game that we had a lot of possession in the first half with some great chances at scoring,” said American Samoa U-17 coach, Frederick Maiava. “I thought we would score first against Tonga and then try to find our rhythm for a win in our last game.”
This was American Samoa’s third loss in as many games, losing to Samoa 3-0 on July 4 and 3-1 against the Cook Islands on July 6. Samoa won their last game of the tournament 2-0 against the Cook Islands to win the group stage and advance to Tahiti in January 2017 against seven other countries.
Tonga scored both goals in the first half with Tevita Kau scoring in the 11th minute and Ofa Kite scoring in the 34th on a free kick from the edge of the box that just slipped past goalie Johnjohn Ugaitafa’s hands.
Joseph Purcell and Gabriel Taumua provided key highlights for American Samoa but lack of support from their teammates during great possession attacks, as well as good defense from Tonga, negated any chances of a goal for the territory’s team.
“A lot of that comes from inexperience in our players in how to connect a string of passes in the middle,” explained FFAS Technical Adviser to the U-17 team, Rupeni Luvu.
Team manager Tavita Taumua said that there are positives from this team that they can take back and work on for the next OFC youth competition.
“One is that our team is very young, with at least four of them on the starting 11 and a few others on the bench that are still able to play in the next U-17s,” Taumua pointed out. “Another is that we now have international experienced youth players who we will be looking at as our leaders during our next international youth competition, whenever that may be.”
The team and officials are now back in American Samoa and preparing for the very popular Summer Youth League set to kick off August 19.
“I am very thankful that our players and management for the U-20 and U-17 teams have returned home safe and sound,” said FFAS President Faiivae Iuli Alex Godinet. “We did not get the results we hoped for but we can use this to build up our younger players that still have youth eligibility left for the next tournaments.”

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