Cook Islands’ Penina Katuke controls possession against Tahiti at the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship 2023 in Suva, Fiji. (Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek)/23062516
Cook Islands and Tahiti are both still in with a chance of progressing to the knockout stages at OFC U-19 Women’s Championship 2023 following a tightly contested 0-0 draw in Suva, Fiji on Saturday.
side managed to truly stamp their authority on proceedings, with clear-cut
chances few and fair between, especially in the first period.
started the brighter of the two sides but couldn’t convert possession and
territorial advantage into chances that sufficiently tested Cook Islands
goalkeeper Kimberly Uini. Anavai Taaviri’s close range header almost brought
the keeper into action but she couldn’t direct her effort goalwards.
was the Cook Islands who came closest in the opening 45 minutes. Following a
corner from the left that was played back across the face of goal, Victoria
Fatiaki turned her effort towards goal, only to be denied by an outstanding
reaction save from Gelimma El Hadj Kaddour in the Tahiti goal.
second-half began slowly but it was Cook Islands who eventually took the
ascendency with arguably the best chance of the match falling to Hereatea Mapu,
who after being put clean through on goal shot straight at El Hadj Kaddour, who
parried behind for a corner.
Hadj Kaddour might have counted herself lucky in the 62nd minute
when she appeared to handle the ball outside of the box when coming out to
clear on the left-flank but neither referee nor assistant referee showed any
had another chance when she outmuscled her marker to create space in the area
but could only side-foot wide of the target as the match seemed destined to
a subdued second-half Tahiti almost stole it late on. Haranui Le Gayic, who had
been kept quiet for most of the tie, found Hanihei Hamatai unmarked at the back
post with an excellent cross only to see Uini palm away the resulting header.
sides remain in contention in Group C with Cook Islands to face Solomon Islands
in the final match on Wednesday (Fiji time).