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Big first half secures Tupapa Maraerenga win

Tuesday 21 February 2023 | Written by Byron Brown | Published in Football, Sports

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Big first half secures Tupapa Maraerenga win
Tupapa Maraerenga are showing determination at the OFC Champions League in Samoa. 23022115

Coming off a tight 1-0 win over Veitongo FC in their first game at the OFC Champions League qualifying tournament, Tupapa Maraerenga were determined to up their goal difference against Ilaoa & To'omata.

The American Samoans were handed a 13-0 loss in their first game, so the only way seemed to be up when the game kicked off in sunny conditions at Football Federation Samoa headquarters.

For a while there, Ilaoa & To'omata’s defence held admirably, but Tupapa Maraerenga were in an attacking mood that would yield results eventually. In the 13th minute a lovely set up by Grover and Lee Harmon saw a pass land at the feet of an unmarked Jake McCoy, with the big striker sending home a shot to open the scoring.

It took another 10 minutes for Tupapa to score again, with Paora Porter rifling home a lovely near post shot from the edge of the box. Tyler Saghabi made it 3-0 with another long range shot, but then Ilaoa & To'omata only had themselves to blame for the next couple conceded. A penalty conceded saw Lee Harmon convert, then Saghabi was left all alone up front to knock in his second.

McCoy completed the scoring for the half with the goal of the match, backheeling a through ball from Porter over a defender and sweetly finishing to make it 6-0. Ilaoa & To'omata goalkeeper Fa’apaia Eti finally had something to smile about when he saved another penalty attempt on halftime.

However, any thoughts of a repeat scoreline from their first game were admirably dashed by Ilaoa & To'omata in the second half. Defenders Jaiyah Saelua, Matthew Taga’i and Piula Taua were outstanding, frustrating the Cook Islanders until right before the end. Darryl Ulufale and Ben Tofaeono both had chances to get Ilaoa & To'omata on the board, but their shots went wide.

Tupapa’s seventh goal was worth the wait, when Dwayne Tiputoa blasted the ball into the top corner. Ngametua Tukana danced through to score in the 90th minute, but the final score didn’t reflect just how hard the American Samoans worked in the second half.

TUPAPA MARERENGA FC 8 (Jake MCCOY 12’, 43’, Taylor SAGHABI 32', 39', Paora PORTER 22’, Lee HARMON 36', Dwayne TIPUTOA 87', Ngametua TUAKANA 90’)

ILAOA & TO’OMATA 0

HT: 6-0

OFC Media