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Cook Islands off to impressive start in OFC Women’s Nations Cup

Monday 18 July 2022 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Local, National

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Cook Islands off to impressive start in OFC Women’s Nations Cup
Cook Islands’ Tineke De Jong takes on a Tongan player in the Group A match on Friday night. Picture: Kirk Corrie (OFC Media)/22071707

Cook Islands made an excellent start to their OFC Women’s Nations Cup 2022 campaign with a crucial 1-all draw against Tonga on Friday night in Suva, Fiji.

Tonight, the national side will take on Samoa in the final Group A match. The side will need atleast a draw to advance to the quarter-finals. Due to the nature of the competition, eight of the nine teams involved will advance from the group stage.

Against Tonga, 15-year-old national goalkeeper Kimberly Uini, who put on a courageous display, saved a first-half penalty to keep the score line nil-all at the break.

Cook Islands took the lead early in the second-half through Lyric Davison’s goal. However, Tonga managed to equalise through Kiana Swift to remain in top eight race after they went down to Samoa 0-2 in the group’s opening match earlier last week.

In the post-match interview, Cook Islands head coach Gary Phillips said: “It’s ugly at times but in this environment it is not about the performance it’s about results. As I said, as ugly as it was, we still could have won it at the end there with the one-on-one.”

“So there’s some positives to take out of it but we will go back and do our homework and freshen up and get ready for the next one.”

The top eight will have the chance to advance to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™ by entering the Play-Off Tournament hosted in Auckland and Hamilton, New Zealand, from February 17-23 next year.