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SOCCER

Nigeria rolls to 6-1 win over Tahiti at Confed Cup

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 June, 2013, 12:37pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 June, 2013, 12:54pm

Nigeria rolled to a 6-1 victory at Confederations Cup on Monday over Tahaiti, which was making its debut at a major Fifa tournament.

Nnamdi Oduamadi scored a hat trick for the African champions, while Elderson Echiejile added two more goals.

Still, the team from the South Pacific may have had the game’s best moment.

Jonathan Tehau headed the ball into the net early in the second half, cutting the deficit to 3-1. The Tahitians then celebrated by pretending to row a boat together.

The goal generated the biggest cheers of the match at the Mineirao Stadium, where the local Brazilians adopted Tahiti as their team while jeering the Nigerians.

Tahiti, 138th in the Fifa rankings, is used to playing in front of a few hundred players. But thousands were watching in Belo Horizonte and millions more on television.

“We’ve shown the world there’s some real quality in Tahiti,” said Marama Vahirua, the only professional on Tahiti’s team. “Just our presence here is a victory and it was fantastic to be adopted by the Brazilian public.”

Tehau’s elation was short-lived, however. Shortly after scoring, he netted an own-goal.

“The last 15 minutes were really difficult for us physically because we’ve never experienced such a tough game before,” Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta said. “I’d like to pay tribute to my players, they were fantastic.”

The Tahitians impressed Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi.

“They came out to fight like lions and it was a little bit difficult to up our game when you know you are playing against them,” he coach said. “You think everything is easy, but they showed us they can play football and ... I was worried because we had clear chances, 100 per cent chances and you need to bury the goals.”

 

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