American Samoa lost their first game of women’s soccer competition of the 2019 Pacific Games Samoa, falling to Fiji 11-0.
The young and very inexperienced team lost their shape and form in the second half of their first Group A encounter to a team that was better technically. American Samoa did show some good flashes, but their fitness and technical ability was not up to par.
In the first half they were able to hold Fiji to only four goals, but the second half the goals came in bunches, right up to the last minute of play. Four players scored twice for Fiji — Cema Nasau, Luisa Tamanitokoakula, Ledua Senisea and Adi Bakaniceva.
“Our girls played their hearts out, and even being much younger and less experienced, they gave it their best,” said the team’s head coach, Ati Faamau-Samuelu.
They coaching staff has their work cut out for them as they prepare to take on the hosts, Samoa, in their second game of the group at three p.m. on Wednesday, July 10.
Against Fiji they found themselves on their backfoot for the majority of the game, and the slippery conditions did not help too as it rained sporadically throughout. Some of the girls were nervous too and it showed. With only three players over the age of 20 on the squad, that factor became huge in the game.
“It is good to get the first game out of the way for them, they have a feel for the toughness and how fast the game is,” Faamau-Samuelu said.