24 Jun 2016

Sport: Samoa a chance to seal OFC U20s berth

11:38 am on 24 June 2016

Samoa have a chance to clinch the Oceania Men's Under 20 Preliminary football title today if results go their way in Nuku'alofa.

Paul Ualesi's men thrashed American Samoa 5-0 earlier this week to record their first win at this level for 14 years and put themselves top of the competition standings.

Another three points against Cook Islands would give them an unassailable lead if Tonga and American Samoa play out a draw in today's other clash.

Cook Islands coach Tuka Tisam said his side needs to perform.

"It's a do or die match for us so we're going to go out more attacking and more positive for this next game - we need the points The boys keeping their composure will create chances for us to score goals and create opportunities in front of goal and try to get the win from that game...they're a good side, got some quality players so we're looking forward for that challenge."

Cook Islands Under 17 women's football coach, Tuka Tisam.

Cook Islands Under 20 men's football coach, Tuka Tisam. Photo: Oceania Football

The first match this afternoon is between hosts Tonga and American Samoa.

The Kingdom drew 1-1 with Cook Islands on Monday and head coach Tevita Moala insisted his side will not underestimate their opponent.

"We are not reading anything into the previous results and we will not take this match lightly. We simply must win to stay on track for the next stage, so we will treat it like a final. The outcome of this match could go a long way in determining our fate, this is one of the most important games we have ever played."

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Photo: Oceania Football

American Samoa faced some unexpected challenges that delayed their arrival in Tonga and coach Sione Mau believes that partly explains his side's sluggish start to the tournament.

"We arrived in Tonga just a day before the start of the competition and without some of our players...I have no doubt we will improve and be more competitive in our second game."

"The boys know to be in this tournament (Friday's) game is a must-win for us and everyone is hyped up and ready for (Friday's) game."

The final round robin games are on Monday with the top team advancing to September's full OFC Under 20 Championship.