More Top Stories

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Uini steals the show with wonder goal for Avatiu FC despite second loss

Thursday 14 March 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Football, Sports


Uini steals the show with wonder goal for Avatiu FC despite second loss
Avatiu’s holding midfielder Kimberley Uini celebrates after scoring a stunner in the OFC Women’s Champions League match against Tafea FC in Solomon Islands on Tuesday. Avatiu FC went down 2-4. Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek/ 24031311

Two late goals secured Tafea FC their first win at the OFC Women’s Champions League, overcoming Avatiu FC 4-2 at Lawson Tama Stadium on Tuesday (Cook Islands time).

With qualification for the semi finals on the line, and both teams chasing their first win of the competition, game one of match day three was a must-win for both Tafea FC and Avatiu FC.

After going down 2-0 to Henderson Eels in their opening game, but having a day’s less rest than her opponents, Avatiu head coach Mii Savage would nevertheless have been hoping for a reaction from her players and a reaction is what she got, as the Cook Islands team took an early lead.

In the sixth minute, holding midfielder Kimberley Uini spotted Nettie Kalsau off her line and lobbed her from distance, shocking Tafea and delighting Savage. Her middle name might be Lucky, but this was all skill from the 17-year-old, whose composed finish is surely a contender for goal of the tournament.

Taking the lead galvanised Avatiu, though Tafea were determined to hit back strongly and after the drinks break the Vanuatu side upped the ante, venturing into Avatar’s half constantly.

They had a couple of opportunities on the half-hour mark, but Tafea FC star Diana Sine was unable to capitalise. Her persistence was rewarded however, as she pinched the ball deep in Avatiu territory, before burying it past Meripa Seumanutafa.

Sine then doubled her tally in stoppage time, with Leimata Simon slipping a great ball through for the forward, who initially lost her footing but improvised with a flick to secure a 2-1 lead going into the break.

Avatiu started the second half as they did the first, Uini scoring early for second just over five minutes into the period with a spectacular long range goal that lopped Tafea FC goalkeeper Kalsau.

Tafea went on the attack after conceding, flooding both flanks as they searched for the goal to restore their lead, with Henriette Sangul coming the closest for the Vanuata side but her 67th minute effort from the edge of the box flashed wide.

Avatiu were packing the box and sitting deep, forcing Tafea into taking low percentage long-range shots that Seumanutafa could comfortably gather.

With the minutes ticking down, Tafea finally got their breakthrough. It was a classy team goal finished by Jane Alatoa that started with ‘keeper Kalsau, who had been largely rendered a spectator for much of the second half.

The Vanuatu international demonstrated her close control and quick feet, wrong-footing two Avatiu defenders before firing past Seumanutafa, much to the delight of the Vanuatu contingent in the stands.

The action wasn’t over just yet, as Alatoa added the cherry on top for Tafea FC, pouncing on a loose ball, before rifling into the top corner, securing a deserved 4-2 victory.

Avatiu FC will face Papua New Guinea’s Hekari United on Friday.

  • OFC Media


Tafea FC: 4 (Diana SINE 35’, 45+3’, Jane ALATOA 85′, 90+6) Avatiu FC: 2 (Kimberly UINI 6’, 51’)