Tahiti beach soccer team bow out in World Cup quarters

Tahiti were beaten by Japan in the World Cup quarter finals. Photo: Facebook/Fédération Tahitienne de Football

The Tahiti beach soccer team’s World Cup journey has ended with a 5-4 extra time defeat by Japan in the quarter-finals.

The Tiki Toa trailed inside five minutes in Moscow following an own goal from Teaonui Tehau.

Shusei Yamauchi doubled Japan’s lead from the penalty spot within 20 seconds and the Asian champions held a 2-0 lead after the first period.

Tamatoa Tetauira finally got Tahiti on the board almost eight minutes into the second spell, scoring from a penalty kick.

Gervais Chan-Kat levelled the scores at 2-2 midway through the final third of normal time.

With time almost up, an own goal from Takumi Uesato gave Tahiti their first lead of the match, only for Takaki Oba to equalise in dramatic fashion seconds later, sending the game into extra time.

Masanori Okuyama put Japan back in front two minutes into added time, before Tamatoa Tetauira responded to square proceedings at 4-4.

But it was Takuya Akaguma who finally settled the match with the decisive strike two minutes from time as Japan advanced to their second straight World Cup semi-final.

Tetauira and Heirauarii Salem finished as Tahiti’s joint top scorers in the tournament with six goals apiece, while Teaonui Tehau had the misfortune to concede two own goals.

Japan will face Senegal for a spot in the final, after the West Africans beat five-time champions Brazil by the same 5-4 scoreline after extra time.

Hosts Russia beat Spain 4-2 and Switzerland crushed Uruguay 10-1 in other quarter-final clashes to set up a battle between the only two unbeaten teams left in the tournament.


Resource: RNZ