OFC World Cup Qualifiers: Semi-Final round up

The finalists for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers have been determined.

Raphael Lea’i and Joses Nawo celebrate Lea’i’s goal for the Solomon Islands against Tahiti. Photo: OFC media

Game 1: Solomon Islands – Papua New Guinea 3-2

The first of the two semi-finals saw plenty of goals, and it was PNG who opened the scoring.

Following a free kick in the 23rd minute, Alwin Komolong had the chance to shoot from 10 meters out. His shot was too hard for Philip Mango to save, and the Solomons keeper could only get a glove to it, but not keep it out of the net.

Ten minutes later it was Alwin Hou who levelled the scoring with a strike from the edge of the box that sailed into the far bottom corner.

Five minutes before half time Solomon Islands missed an opportunity to take the lead when Micah Lea’alafa hit the post from the penalty spot.

The lead would be gained for the Solomons in the 64th minute when once again Alwin Hou appeared and thundered the ball into the net.

Six minutes later a long ball towards Raphael Lea’i saw the youngster head the ball into space and run onto it himself. After leaving the PNG defenders behind the youngster made no mistake all alone with Ronald Warisan, and put the game almost to bed.

PNG got a goal back in the dying minutes when Ati Kepo had a cross deflected into the back of the net, but PNG couldn’t complete the comeback.

Watch the highlights here:

Game 2: New Zealand – Tahiti 1-0

The second semi-final had a first half where New Zealand dominated possession but struggle to really trouble the Tahitian goalkeeper.

Joe Bell made Jackson Teamotuaitau stretch out with a strike from range after just over half an hour played, but the keeper made a fine save.

The game was scoreless going into the break, and the second half started as the first had gone. With plenty of New Zealand possession and some ok chances that Teamotuaitau saved.

The decider came just after 70 minutes, when defender Liberato Cacace started an attack out wide and kept running into the box. The ball dropped to him and from five meters out he slid the ball past the goalkeeper.

Tahiti tried going a bit more attacking, but could not find a way back into the match.