More Top Stories

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Tupapa Maraerenga FC lose opener

Saturday 17 February 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Football, Sports


Tupapa Maraerenga FC lose opener
Tupapa Maraerenga FC went down to Vaivase-Tai FC 0-4 in the OFC Men’s Champions League – Qualifying tournament match yesterday. Photo Credit: OFC Media via Tonga FC/24021637

Vaivase-Tai FC have powered their way past Tupapa Maraerenga FC in the opening match of the OFC Men’s Champions League – Qualifying in Tonga, scoring four unanswered goals to give them the perfect start in qualifying group.

The game commenced with Tupapa asserting their presence, taking possession straight from kick-off. However, it was Vaivase-Tai who quickly turned the tide, firing the first shot towards the goal, setting the tone for a match filled with grit and determination.

The 11th minute saw a pivotal moment when Tupapa’s Sunai Joseph was booked with a yellow card, a setback that only seemed to embolden Vaivase-Tai. A penalty awarded to them in the 14th minute was the perfect opportunity to capitalise on their opponents’ faltering and they did not disappoint, Vaa Taualai cooly converting from the spot to give his side the lead.

Tupapa struggled to regain their composure whilst Vaivase-Tai oozed confidence, controlling much of the ball in the opening 45 minutes. Tupapa’s Gichin Fuhiniu did have a golden opportunity to level matters midway through, but a misjudged effort squandered the chance. Both teams traded corners, with the one-goal difference still leaving an element of doubt as the half drew to a close.

With only minutes left before the break Taualai doubled his side’s lead with a second goal in the 44th minute. An injury led to an additional six minutes of time at the end of the half and it was enough for Vaivase-Tai to add a crucial third. Alman Kwan’s brilliant strike landing a third goal and solidifying their lead as the teams headed into half-time.

The second half began with two Vaivase-Tai players subbed out due to cramps, but the intensity on the field did not wane.

Tupapa’s Daniel Taokia saw a sliver of hope, slicing through Vaivase’s defence, but his efforts were thwarted by a steadfast block.

With the seconds ticking down and the result beyond doubt, Vaivase-Tai added a fourth, Dilo Tumua taking advantage of a goalkeeping error to finish smartly and put a seal on a commanding performance.

In the other match, Veitongo FC thumped Vaiala Tonga SC 13-0.

Tupapa Maraerenga will play Vaiala Tonga on Monday before taking on Veitongo on Thursday.

  • Sammy Mataroa/OFC Media