New Caledonia has kept their final ambitions alive with a 5-4 win over Vanuatu on Match Day Two of the OFC Futsal Championship.
Vanuatu opened scoring through Ben Edward after four minutes, only for New Caledonia to reply a minute later through Anderson Paulin.
New Caledonia then snatched back the lead thanks to a powerful direct freekick from Ismael Tchovamili before Lui Sifas drew Vanuatu level after 18 minutes.
But, it was the Caledonians who finished the half with momentum, Loic Caunes scoring from his team’s third direct free kick of the half with only a second left before the break.
Trailing 2-3 at halftime Vanuatu were delt a demoralising blow when Terry Quare was sent off for two minutes after his second yellow card offence.
They were then hit with another body blow when coach Marco Herrominly was sent from the stadium.
But they rallied immediately after Quare returned, with Edward drawing themlevel again, only for New Caledonia’s Ismael Tchovamili to reply in kind 30 seconds later.
The cut and thrust continued in a final ten minuts that saw Luis Sifas draw his team level for the third time before Caunes stepped up two minutes from full time to bury Vanuatu’s hopes with a deft side foot past the keeper.
New Caledonia: 20. Arnaud LLAMBRICH; 5. Anderson PAULIN; 8. Ismael TCHOVAMILI; 10. Loic CAUNES; 11. Ivann POUROURO;
Vanuatu: 1. Daniel MANSALE (GK) ; 6. Terry QUARE ; 9. Louis DOMINIQUE; 10. Vira Jack ALA; 11. Ben EDWARD