Cooks win over Tonga

Cooks were stronger and dominant throughout the first half of the match with the first goal coming through New Zealand based Tyrell Barringer-Tahiri who helped get the scoring underway when he pressured the Tongan defence into an own goal from a Mii Putai corner in the 11th minute and further goals to Twin Tiro, who struck twice, Tamaiva Smith and captain Anthony Samuela from the penalty spot put the result beyond doubt by five goals to nil by the half-time whistle.
Substitutions were made in the second half to the Cook Islands side with Eric Katoa replacing Rangi Piri in goal while Daniel Nicol replaced Tyrell Barringer-Tahiri and Marcus Toru replacing Jamien Iroa.
The match’s second penalty was tucked away by Temana Pennycook to give Cook Islands their sixth and final goal to wrap up the scoring in stoppage time.
Cook Islands coach, Tuka Tisam was just as delighted with the team’s great effort.
“It’s great to finally get three points on the board,” he says. “I think we were suffering from a lot of nerves in the first couple of games but the players’ confidence has gradually built up.
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