Beaten Tahiti proud of charm offensive
By Football News
Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta believes his team "won over hearts" in their 10-0 Confederations Cup defeat to Spain.
The South Pacific nation, who sit 137 places below Spain in the FIFA world rankings, were demolished by Vicente del Bosque's men, with Fernando Torres (four), David Villa (three), David Silva (two) and Juan Mata scoring the goals.
However, Etaeta was philosophical in defeat and believes his team achieved what they set out to do - win affection from the general public.
"It's quite difficult when you get thrashed 10-0 but my players tried to really play football. They did their utmost to perform as well as possible - but at some point you've got to defend your goal better," he told reporters.
"We had overwhelming support from all the public in the Maracana. It's very, very important to us. We wanted to reach the hearts of the Brazilian public and I think we've done that.
"We lost the match 10-0 but we won over hearts in Brazil. I want to say a big, big thank you to the Brazilian public."
Meanwhile, Etaeta went on to appeal to people in Tahiti to acknowledge the sport in their home country and hopes the result can prove beneficial in the long-term.
"To be honest, we are more well known here in Brazil than at home in Tahiti. I hope that we get more recognition and support from our own population when we get back to Tahiti.
"We realised it would be almost impossible to compete with such high level teams here but we are drawing a number of lessons from this tournament for the future."
Tahiti take on Uruguay in their final game of Group B in the Confederations Cup on Sunday.