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Tupapa Maraerenga defeat Samoa champs

Friday 4 May 2012 | Published in Regional


The race in the Pacific’s Premier Soccer Competition is now a three-horse affair after Tupapa-Maraerenga put themselves in the driving seat with a 2-1 upset win over champion club from Samoa Kiwi.

The Kiwi and Tupapa clash was always likely to be one of the tournament’s key fixtures in Tonga.

It was a tense contest until the final whistle was blown.

All goals scored took place in the first half.

In the 19th minute Mike Saofaiga scored for the Samoan club, however in the 29th minute Grover Harmon got Tupapa-Maraerenga back into the match by blasting the ball from inside the 18-yard box.

Two minutes later striker Campbell Best scored the second and winning goal from a pin-point cross from captain Mii Joseph.

Fully aware of how important a positive result would be, the Samoan club Kiwi pressed hard for an equaliser in the second half but Tupapa Maraerenga defended resolutely to secure a memorable win for the club.

Coach-player Tony Jamieson said, “We fought hard and got the result we wanted. Going behind early in the game wasn’t part of the plan, but we pressed on and when you do that you open yourself up a little bit. The guys kept going and showed some metal to get the win.”

In the other match Tonga’s champion club Lotohaapai defeated American Samoa’s club Pago Youth by 6 goals to nil.

Tupapa-Maraerenga will play the champion club from Samoa Pago Youth while Lotohaapai of Tonga and Kiwi of Samoa will square off.