24th November 2011
Oceania World Cup Qualifying Round 1
J.S. Blatter Stadium, Apia, Samoa
Samoa 1 – 1 Tonga
Samoa still top the Oceania Round One group after a 1-1 draw with Tonga which has eliminated their opponents and the Cook Islands and set up a humdinger of a final match against American Samoa to decide qualification to the next round.
Perhaps they will feel they should have won this one after Tonga equalised late on from Lokoua Taufahema, in a similar story to Samoa’s first match with the Cook Islands. That time Samoa grabbed a dramatic late winner, but it wasn’t to be today.
Tonga were strong defensively, frustrating their Samoan rivals, but shortly before the break Folio Moeaki brought down Desmond Fa’aiuaso for a penalty which was duly desptached by Shaun Easthope to give Samoa the lead.
This all means Samoa just need a draw from the final match against American Samoa, an opponent they have always beaten (as had everyone else until this week of course!), to progress to the next round.
Like their American Samoan cousins, Samoa will of course climb off the foot of the rankings table further with this point, and so their clash on Saturday night will be a fond farewell from us to them both as they head up into the giddy heights of the world’s top 200.
Highlights are here…
|Samoa||Pl. 2||Pts. 4|