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Samoa Edge Papua New Guinea 3-1 in Thrilling Under 19 OFC Championship Clash

Samoa has prevailed 3-1 in a hard-fought battle against Papua New Guinea in their opening match of the OFC U-19 Men’s Championship in Apia.

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Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek
Oceania Football Confederation Media.  Samoa’s Under 19 men’s soccer team have started its campaing with a thrilling 3-1 win over Papua New Guinea on Saturday afternoon at the Tuanaimato fields.

PNG should have been ahead in the first five minutes of the match. Striker Johnson Belle was gifted an easy goalscoring opportunity, but metres out from an empty goal he sent his shot sailing over the crossbar.
Pharrell Trainor of Samoa named Man of the Match.

German based striker Pharrell Trainor was ever present in Samoa’s attack, causing Papua New Guinea issues in defence, but for the most part they handled him well.

Battling the hot and humid conditions, both sides struggled to gain the ascendency in the first period with neither team really testing each other’s goal.

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Approaching half-time the breakthrough came, and it was Samoa’s captain Trainor that provided it. He showed great composure to control a cross, before calmly slotting it past Daniel Sakora.

Trainor almost had his second in two minutes, showing great creativity as he used his heel to direct the ball goalwards, but Sakora managed to beat the ball to the net to stop it.

Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek

At the other end Papua New Guinea’s Jason Goble-Lote had a chance of his own. He caught the hosts on the counterattack, dribbling into the box before unleashing a strike only to be denied by the strong hands of Joel Bartley.

Samoa led 1-0 at halftime and returned to a perfect start to the second half with Trainor doubling his side’s advantage. He picked the ball up just beyond the 18-yard box, dribbled past two PNG players before slotting it into the bottom corner.

Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek

However, Papua New Guinea hit right back, sloppy defending from the hosts saw Nalau Moses get in behind the defence. His shot taking a huge deflection off a defender and into the back of the goal.

It was end-to-end stuff for the remainder of the second period, both teams relentless on attack as they knew the importance of getting off to a good start at the OFC U-19 Men’s Championship.

Juan Gobbi put the game beyond doubt in the final stages of the match, powering his shot past Sakora into the back of the net. He could have had a second in added time, but his chip shot just drifted over the crossbar.

The victory for Samoa sets up an intriguing clash against New Zealand on Tuesday, while for Papua New Guinea they’ll look to rebound against New Caledonia.

Samoa:3 (Pharrell TRAINOR 38’, 47’, Juan GOBBI 82’)
Papua New Guinea:1 (Nalau MOSES 50’)

Halftime: 1-0