Football News

Tahiti trump Nigeria in celebration stakes

Created on Jun. 17, 2013 11:28 PM EST

Tahiti has treated Monday's 6-1 Confederations Cup loss to Nigeria in Belo Horizonte like a victory in the World Cup final.

The French Polynesian island, who stunned New Caledonia to win the 2012 Oceania Nations and qualify for the Confederations Cup, managed to score a goal in their first appearance at a major tournament.

Tahiti head coach Eddy Etaeta had described a goal as the team's 'wildest dream' before the Confederations Cup and when Jonathan Tehau headed home at the back post in the 54th minute, the Tahitian Football Federation (TFF) did not hold back on Twitter.


"TFF #NeverGiveUp Tehau HERO!!!!!!"

After the match, the Tahitian squad completed a lap of honour and Etaeta revealed he was close to tears throughout the 90 minutes.

"I was deeply moved, almost crying," Etaeta said.

"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."

While Tahiti was celebrating their five-goal defeat like a win, Nigeria head coach Stephen Keshi was less than impressed as his team managed just six goals from their 19 shots, including 10 that were on target.

Keshi warned his strikers they will need to be more clinical when they take on Uruguay and Spain in their next two matches but maintained he was 'happy' with the performance.

"We had some chances, they needed to bury the goals," Keshi said.

"When you play a game like this you tend to give the opposition team the confidence to come back.

"They scored their goal and reacted a little bit.

"I'm happy with how we did and we'll see how we get on against Uruguay."

Tahiti's next game will be against reigning World and European champions Spain but Etaeta is not worried about what the Spanish will do against his team.

The 43-year-old coach is just looking forward to the experience.

"For us, it is a win to be on a pitch with Nigeria, we can be really proud of our performance today," Etaeta said.

"The next game against Spain will be a dream."

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