BY ROMULUS HUTA
AFTER a near-win performance against Fiji on Monday, Samoa did it again against New Caledonia by holding off a 1-all draw on Thursday’s Pool B match of the OFC Under-16 Championship at Lawson Tama Stadium.
Jarvis Filimamae scored an impressive equalising goal a minute before halftime after trailing New Caledonia by a goal to nil earlier on.
Ruben Kutrane gave a 1-0 lead to New Caledonia within the first 23 minutes before it was cancelled out.
Samoa fought strong and held on to the 1-1 draw until fulltime.
The draw gave both teams their first point of the competition with the Polynesians having advantage on the table tally on the third position leaving Les Cagous to occupy the bottom spot.
Tahiti becomes the first team from Pool B to qualify into the semifinals following their second win yesterday over Fiji.
A double by Denji Kaiha and a goal from Tehotu Gitton helped Tahiti to register a 3-0 win.
The win propelled them to maintain their lead on their pool’s tally with six points and one match to spare.
Tahiti will play Samoa and Fiji will meet New Caledonia in their respective pool matches on Sunday.
The Pool B race for a place in the semifinals is still open and the final team qualifying alongside Tahiti will made known in the final match day.
The competition returns to action on Saturday for the final Pool A matches.