A hat-trick to Vanuatu front-man Vira Jack Ala has driven his team to a 6-2 win over New Caledonia in tonight’s 3rd v 4th play-off match at Vodafone Arena in Suva, Fiji.
Against the run of play it was New Caledonia who scored first on 9 minutes.
Vanuatu’s Junior Malas unfortunately tripped on the ball inside his own half and handed possession to opposition captain Ivann Pourouoro who made no mistake one-on-one with the keeper, placing his low shot in the corner.
But Vanuatu were enjoying greater possession and made that advantage count with the equaliser coming on 13 minutes to Vira Jack Ala after a neat short passing movement.
Vanuatu looked to be hitting their straps with a second goal to Ala on 17 minutes but immediately from the restart they went to sleep on defence and allowed Ismael Tchovamili a simple tap-in goal to level the scores again.
But Ala was in a goal-hungry mood and he completed his hat-trick with a third powerful drive into the New Caledonian net only a minute before the break, giving Vanuatu a one goal halftime advantage.
And Vanuatu stepped up their domination in the second half with a further three goals coming to Don Mansale early in the second half, Junior Malas after 32 minutes and Lui Sifas after 37 minutes.
Vanuatu coach Marco Herrominly was very pleased with his team’s determination in their final tournament fixture.
“Our boys really wanted to finish this tournament third. In the first half I wanted them to move forward and press as much as possible and at half time I told them I wanted them to concentrate on defending more – this strategy was successful.”
“This year’s team doesn’t have a lot of experience, Vanautu is putting more emphasis on the beach soccer but we will come back with a stronger team next year and we will be aiming to win the OFC Futsal Championship,” said Herrominly.
New Caledonia: 1. Ronan EUZEN (GK); 2. Jerry IARUEL; 8. Ismael TCHOVAMILI; 10. Loic CAUNES; 11. Ivann POUROUORO
SUBS: 3. Adrien GUILLAMO ; 4. Louis WAISHITINE ; 5. Anderson PAULIN ; 6. Henri DRUDRI ; 7. Rodrigue POIWI ; 20. Arnaud LLAMBRICH
Coach: Eric MICHALAK (FRA)
Vanuatu: 1. Daniel MANSALE (GK); 5. Lui SIFAS; 6. Terry QUARE; 8. Louis DOMINIQUE; 11. Ben Edward
SUBS: 20. Pascal BALA (GK); 2. Morsen Sope; 3. Don MANSALE; 4. Marco HERROMINLY; 7. Ben HUNGAI; 9. Junior MALAS; 10. Vira Jack ALA;
Coach: Marco HERROMINLY (VAN)