Tahiti 1-6 Nigeria

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Confederations Cup: Tahitian football's greatest moment?

South Pacific islanders Tahiti scored a historic goal in their Confederations Cup debut, which ended in a respectable defeat by African champions Nigeria.

Tahiti's team of amateurs, ranked 138th in the world and competing in their first major tournament, scored when Jonathan Tehau headed in from a corner.

At that stage they were 3-0 down after an own goal from captain Nicolas Vallar and two efforts from Nnamdi Oduamadi.

Tehau scored an own goal before strikes from Oduamadi and Uwa Echiejile.

Nigeria, ranked 31st in the Fifa world rankings, wasted a series of chances to make the scoreline more damaging for Tahiti and a string of defensive errors ultimately proved costly for the outsiders.

But coach Eddy Etaeta, who had feared his side "would not give a very good image of Tahitian football", would have been delighted that his adventurous side registered a goal in their opening match in Brazil.

And after the match he said: "I was deeply moved, almost crying. We watch World Cups on TV. Today we were actors. Tahiti was watching. Our President sent us a message and suspended a cabinet meeting for it."

The 25-year-old Tehau, oldest of three brothers and one cousin in the squad, seized his moment in the 54th minute when he beat Celtic defender Efe Ambrose in the air to nod home a corner at the back post.

He and the rest of the Tahiti team then performed, as they said they would, their paddle celebration in honour of Tahiti's national sport.

Tehau did however claim the unfortunate title of becoming the first player to score at both ends in a Confederations Cup match when he diverted home Oduamadi's cross.

Nigeria's squad only arrived in Brazil on Sunday morning after missing their scheduled flight to Brazil in a dispute over bonus payments.

And Stephen Keshi's side, who next face Uruguay, were wasteful in front of goal, despite the heavy scoreline.

Oduamadi did go on to clinch his hat-trick before Echiejile sealed the rout for the Super Eagles.

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Highlights: Tahiti 1-6 Nigeria

Oduamadi said: "Tahiti came out to fight like lions. It was a little bit difficult to up our game. You know you're playing against a team where, with the greatest respect to Tahiti, you think everything's easy. They showed us that they can play football."

Tahiti qualified by winning the Oceania Nations Cup last June and were cheered on by the majority of the 20,000 supporters in the Estadio Mineirao at Belo Horizonte.

And they were almost treated to a second Tehau goal in the closing stages, but the hero of the night's header dropped just wide after a ball from deep.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Tahiti

  • 23 Samin
  • 04 Ludivion
  • 10 Vallar (Faatiarau - 54' )
  • 19 Simon (Lemaire - 78' )
  • 02 A Tehau
  • 06 Caroine
  • 07 Bourebare
  • 16 Aitamai
  • 17 J Tehau
  • 03 Vahirua (Atani - 69' )
  • 13 Chong Hue

Substitutes

  • 01 Roche
  • 22 Meriel
  • 05 Wagemann
  • 08 Faatiarau
  • 12 Lemaire
  • 14 Aroita
  • 20 Vero
  • 09 T Tehau
  • 15 L Tehau
  • 18 Tohoni
  • 21 Hnanyine
  • 11 Atani

Nigeria

  • 01 Enyeama
  • 02 Obobona
  • 03 Echiejile
  • 05 Ambrose
  • 22 Omeruo Booked (Egwueke - 74' )
  • 10 Mikel
  • 13 Ogude
  • 19 Mba (Ogu - 57' )
  • 07 Musa
  • 14 Ujah (Brown - 51' )
  • 20 Oduamadi

Substitutes

  • 16 Ejide
  • 23 Agbim
  • 06 Egwueke
  • 12 Kwambe
  • 21 Francis
  • 04 Ogu
  • 15 Babatunde
  • 17 Onazi
  • 18 Eze
  • 08 Brown
  • 09 Akpala
  • 11 Mohammed
Ref: J Aguilar
Att: 20,000

Match Stats

Shots

0 0

On target

0 0

Corners

0 0

Fouls

0 0