Tahiti avoid humiliation against Nigeria in Brazil

ROB HARRIS
Last updated 09:41 18/06/2013

Relevant offers

Football

Italian football legend Francesco Totti bids farewell after 25 years with Roma New Zealand to face United States in round of 16 at Under-20 World Cup despite loss to France Women's footballer Rachel Daly collapses in US game as temperatures soar Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 to win English FA Cup final again Arsene Wenger's faith finally rewarded with stirring FA Cup final win by Arsenal Footballer suspended from German Cup final and fined after getting tattoo that got infected Celtic win Scottish FA Cup to secure treble, end season unbeaten Storm Roux's Confederations Cup opportunity comes at end of winding 16-month road Chelsea boss Antonio Conte's seeing Double ahead of FA Cup decider against Arsenal Comedian offers sarcastic apology for sideline coverage of Liverpool v Sydney FC

Tahiti avoided humiliation in its debut at a global football tournament by scoring a goal in a 6-1 loss to Nigeria at the Confederations Cup.

Jonathan Tehau headed in a goal early in the second half to reduce the team's deficit to 3-1. The Tahitians then gave their rowing boat celebration its biggest audience yet.

The goal generated the biggest cheers of the match at the Mineirao Stadium, where the local Brazilians adopted Tahiti as their team while jeering the Nigerians.

Tahiti, a team that comes from a small island in the South Pacific and is 138th in the FIFA rankings, is used to playing in front of a few hundred players. But thousands were watching in Belo Horizonte and millions more on television.

"We've shown the world there's some real quality in Tahiti," said Marama Vahirua, the only professional in Tahiti's team. "Just our presence here is a victory and it was fantastic to be adopted by the Brazilian public."

Tehau's elation was short-lived, however. Shortly after scoring, he netted an own-goal.

Nnamdi Oduamadi scored a hat-trick for African champion Nigeria, while Uwa Echiejile added the other two.

Although there was never any threat of anything but a Nigeria victory, Tahiti showed adventure throughout, managing five shots.

"The last 15 minutes were really difficult for us physically because we've never experienced such a tough game before," Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta said. "I'd like to pay tribute to my players, they were fantastic."

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Burnley retain their EPL status?

Yes, they've found a winning formula

Maybe, but there’s a long way to go

No. They lack quality in certain areas

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content