Sport: Tahiti coach proud of Beach Soccer World Cup team
Hosts Tahiti finish fourth at the Beach Soccer World Cup after an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to Brazil in the bronze playoff.
Tahiti have finished fourth at the Beach Soccer World Cup in Papeete after an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to Brazil in the bronze playoff.
The Tiki Toa are just the second Oceania team to qualify for the semi-finals of a FIFA event and head coach Angelo Schirinzi told Vinnie Wylie he's extremely proud of what his players achieved at what he labelled the "Best World Cup ever".
ANGELO SCHIRINZI: The last couple of weeks were very exciting and perfect in a way because nobody thought Tiki Toa could do matches like this, and yesterday against Brazil it was like a big final for the country here. Everybody is very euphoric. If you play against Brazil and can come back and go to the penalty shoot-out, and then you lose there, this is maybe the only sad thing, but a perfect match. Everybody is happy here and competing against Brazil is something special.
VINNIE WYLIE: The semifinal against Russia, you had a couple of key players out in that game who were suspended. Close in that third period there, but just couldn't quite hold on up against Brazil. Up a couple of times, and, as you say, you fought back a couple of times to take it to extra time and then take it to a penalty shoot-out. So there wa sa lot of fight and a lot of grit from that Tahitian team.
AS: Perfect. And also against the world champion, Russia, we played very well. I was not so happy with the refereeing. It was very bad this tournament. But, you know, this match we have everybody feeling liking they stole, a little bit, the final. They gave to Patrick Tepa a red card absolutely unecessarily. And we were 3-2 ahead three minutes left to the end of the match. We were very disappointed, but the match is over. You can't change anything. So we thought to make a big match against Brazil. Unfortunately, we lost in a penalty shoot-out, but like I told you here everybody is happy.
VW: Are you more frustrated by the things that didn't quite go your way, or are you able to look back at it objectively and say 'Wow, we still came fourth and that's a massive thing for Oceania and for this region'?
AS: I am proud that Tahitiain players played so spectacularly and very well. We played real beach soccer. We made a spectacular game. We beat Argentina 6-1. This is incredible. This is absolutely fantastic. And also if we see the match, how we played this match and how we scored, this is absolutely amazing.
VW: Has this changed the way that the footballing world think about Oceania and how comeptitive teams from this region can be?
AS: I hope so. I think the Tahiti team, they will stay strong, because now they have a team who can compete. There is euphoria here in Tahiti now. They will continue to play so we will have a lot of good results in the near future with this team. But I think also the other islands and the other regions, they will see what happens here. The Solomon Islands, also. This is only a small step to win the important matches. I think in the near future you will have a lot of countries who can compete with the other nations.
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