The American Samoa women’s team lost to New Caledonia 9-0 in a sluggish performance on Match Day 3 of the 2019 Pacific Games soccer tournament on July 12 at the Toleafoa JS Blatter Sports Complex in Tuanaimato, Samoa.
Coming off of their emotional draw with Samoa two days earlier, they played strong and organized during the first 10 minutes of the game, repelling early attacks often. But the team started to break down after that from front to back, with New Caledonia players beating the midfielders with ease.
The strain became too much for the defenders as New Caledonia scored two goals six minutes apart. At the end of the first half it was 6-0.
“The girls were off today, they played well during some stretches of the game, but they didn’t have the same energy level,” said Ati Faamau-Samuelu.
In the beginning of the first half, goalkeeper Fomai picked up where she left off in the game against Samoa, making some great stops. However, once that first goal went through, it spelled the end for American Samoa’s chances at a repeat performance of their last game.
But bad news struck in the second half when Fomai was carted off on the stretcher with a knee injury, forcing American Samoa to go with a young and inexperienced goalie, Zeporah Talo.
Fortunately, the back four, led by a feisty Olivia Vaiomounga, stepped up their game and worked hard to make Talo’s job easier. For her first time in a highly competitive environment, Talo played to the best of her abilities.
“We get two days of rest before our final game against Tonga, and that’s going to be good for our team,” Faamau-Samuelu pointed out. “We will use those two days to rest and recuperate.”
The women’s team will take on Tonga on July 15, 2019 at 3:30 PM, their last game of the tournament. They depart for home on July 16.