New Caledonia overcame Samoa in a tight and hotly contested Group B encounter to secure their first victory at the OFC Futsal Nations Cup 2023.
Despite a spirited and physical effort from Samoa, they were unable to exert consistent pressure on their opponents ad New Caledonia’s composure in front of goal was the telling difference.
After goalkeeper Mathieu Wassin made an early save to keep the scores level, his team mate at the other end Nicolas Foubert did open the scoring, turning in after Ridge Ue’s skewed effort.
A crucial second followed just over five minutes later when Emmanuel Hmaen’s low drive from a tight angle snuck in past goalkeeper Osa Savelio at the near post.
Samoa gave themselves hope when Michael Tumua Leo pounced on a rebound to tuck the ball home before Christ Pei restored the two goal lead a couple of minutes later to give New Caledonia a two goal buffer.
New Caledonia had the perfect opportunity to add a fourth early in the second-half from the penalty spot. Christopher Cawa’s initial effort was saved well by Savelio but the stopper was judged to have been off his line. No save was required from the second attempt as Cawa blasted the ball high over the bar.
That vital fourth goal would finally come in the 27th minute. Andrew Ponidja cut in from and the right and drilled his left-footed effort low and underneath Savelio’s grasp.
Rémi Boussemart got himself on the scoresheet with ten minutes of the match remaining following a free-kick routine to truly put the result beyond doubt.
Number six came courtesy of Nicolas Foubert’s second of the afternoon with a stinging left-foot effort that flew past Samoa’s substitute goalkeeper Eti Fatu. Ponidja added a seventh late on with a smart finish.
A late consolation for Samoa came courtesy of a scrappy finish from Tavita To’o.
Samoa: 2 (Michael TUMUA LEO 15′, Tavita TO’O 40′)
New Caledonia: 7 (Nicolas FOUBERT 5′ 34′, Emmanuel HMAEN 11′, Christ PEI 17′, Andrew PONIDJA 27′ 39′, Rémi BOUSSEMART 31′)