Tahiti take bronze at OFC Men’s Nations Cup with 2-1 win against Fiji

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Tahiti have claimed the bronze medal at the OFC Men’s Nations Cup in Port Vila after beating Fiji 2-1, thanks to two wonderful strikes by captain Teaonui Tehau.

Fiji were hoping to repeat their best placing in the OFC Men’s Nations Cup, after previously claiming third place in 1998 and 2008 but head coach Rob Sherman decided to replace his starting line-up for the bronze medal match.

The Welshman said he wanted to give his entire squad game-time to assess them ahead of September’s qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup.

Tahiti boss Samuel Garcia started with his strongest team, with Matatia Paama returning from suspension for Manuarii Shan and Mauri Heitaa coming into the line-up at the expense of Franck Papaura.

Fiji had beaten Tahiti in their Group B match thanks to a Roy Krishna penalty, but the new line-up struggled to get a grip on the French Polynesians.

Tahiti’s slick combination football caused all kinds of trouble for the Fiji defenders, but their possession failed to result in many clear-cut opportunities.

Main photo credit: OFC Media / Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Photo credit: OFC Media / Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Lively winger Matéo Degrumelle came closest to threatening the goal of Aydin Mustahib in the first half, but his free-kick just missed the target.

Sherman brought on captain Krishna at the break to provide some more impetus for his side, and the OFC men’s record goalscorer didn’t take long to deliver his 41st international goal, virtually out of the blue.

Just short of the hour mark, the talisman latched onto a long, hopeful ball from Lekima Gonerau, rounding goalkeeper Teave Teamotuatitau before tapping in to extend his remarkable scoring record in his 57th match for the Bula Boys.

Tahiti kept plugging away and were rewarded after some lovely build-up work by young substitute Papaura to assist captain Tehau, who provided a beautiful finish to set up a grandstand finish.

In end-to-end action, Krishna first hit the post and then set up Nabil Begg minutes later, only for the young talent to squander a chance from two yards out.

At the other end, Tahiti also opted for all-out attack.

The positive approach earned Tahiti a free-kick on the edge of the box, which captain Tehau expertly curled over the Fijian wall to leave Mustahib stranded and give his team their first win over Fiji in 13 years.


We are grateful for the help of OFC Media in providing this story.


Game played on Sunday June 30, 2024

Play-off for third place

Tahiti 2 (Teaonui Tehau 72’, 83’)
Fiji 1 (Roy Krishna 58’)


Game to be played on Sunday June 30, 2024


New Zealand v Vanuatu
VFF Freshwater Stadium, Port Vila, Vanuatu, 4pm (NZT)

This story was first published on June 30, 2024.

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