COOKS PUT TONGA AWAY

Tonga had two early chances, within in the first twenty minutes on the game but couldn’t convert this into goals. The Cook Islands who were better organised than the Tongans, scored their first goal from a corner by Taylor Saghabi. The Cook Islands were unlucky to add another goal just before halftime, with the halftime score at 1-nil.
Early in the second half the Cook Islands missed a golden opportunity to extend their lead when Paavo Mustonen hit the crossbar from a free kick.
Although the Tongans were bigger and stronger, the Cooks mid-field trio of Gichin Fuhiniu, Grover Harmon and Taylor Saghabi, combined with the hardworking Harlem Simiona made it difficult for their opposition Tonga to get possession of the ball.
Mid-way through the second half Taylor Saghabi latched onto a square pass by Josh Karika to extend the Cooks lead to 2-nil. Tonga responded with a golden opportunity on the other side of the field, but was missed by their striker.
With twenty minutes of play remaining a quick short pass saw Taylor Saghabi score a powerful strike off his left boot which went straight over the goalkeepers head to extend the Cooks goals to 3-nil.
The Tongan’s tried tirelessly to get a goal but it was the Cooks striker Campbell Best who nearly scored to extend his teams lead. All in all it was a good match which was quite physical. The game ended with the final score of 3-nil to Cook Islands.
In the second match of the day the favourites Samoa scored three quick goals in the first twenty-five minutes, however American Samoa who had a training camp for seven weeks in Seattle in the US did not give up. They came back and score a goal just before half time.
In the second half American Samoa scored another goal. In the dying minutes of the match American Samoa was unfortunate not to equalise. This was an exciting match which got the crowd on their toes. The game ended in a 3-2 score to Samoa.
Today the Cook Islands will play the favourites Samoa at 2pm Cook Islands time, while host Tonga will take on American Samoa at 4:30pm.
The players and management would like to give their regards to their loved ones, families and all the football supporters in the Cook Islands.
Anyone who wishes to send messages to the team can do so by sending it through to the following email address cifa@cisoccer.org.ck .

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