COOK’S WIN AGAINST SAMOA

The match started with high intensity from both teams knowing a win will put their team in a better position to qualify for the second stage.
Although the Samoans had the favourite tag it was the Cooks Islands who had the first opportunity to score when Paavo Mustonen took a curly free kick. Samoa had their opportunity a few minutes later but Striker Desmond Faaiusua was unable to put the final touch onto the cross from the midfield area.
With six minutes remaining in the first half a foul was committed on a Cook Island player and the Cooks were awarded a free kick some twenty eight metres away from the goal and next to the touch line. Taylor Saghabi who scored a hatrick of goals in the first day against Tonga stepped up and took the free kick with some power, precision and curve which left the Samoan defenders and Goal keeper no chance of clearing the shot and the first and only goal of the match was scored. Half score Cook 1 Samoa 0.
During the second half both teams played with more intensity but it was the Cooks who were unfortunate to extend their lead when Legend Pareta latch onto a lay off pass and couldn’t find the net with only the Goal Keeper to beat. The match in general was played at high intensity, but was a much deserved win for the Cooks who had more shots at goal.
In the second match between host Tonga and American Samoa, this encounter started with a lot of physicality and aggressive play. The Tonga’s scored first midway through the first half. However in the second half the US based American Samoan player’s in the team showed their class and went on to score two goals to win the match by 2 goals to 1.
The Cook Islands will play their third and final match against American Samoa tomorrow at 4:00pm. This is a must win match, if the Cook Islands lose to American Samoa and Samoa defeat Tonga all three teams will be on six points and the winner of the tournament will be decided on goal difference.

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