After 2-1 Confeds Cup wins from both Italy and Spain over the weekend, Footballers Direct is waiting for 2000 BST today and the kick off of Tahiti’s debut game against Nigeria.
The Tahitian team is currently ranked 138th by FIFA and has just one professional player in the form of Marama Vahirua. They qualified for the tournament by winning the Oceania Nations Cup, since then, however, they have scored just two goals as a team, losing five out of six games. Nigeria remain unbeaten in their last 17 games with their last defeat being over a year ago – in May 2012.
Nigeria and Tahiti have never played on a senior level before, but the two did meet at for the Under-20 World Cup in 2009 where Tahiti was defeated 5-0. With all this in mind, what do you think of Tahiti’s chances today?
Footballers Direct writers do love an underdog story but some are going as far as to suggest that the appearance of Tahiti is damaging the credibility of the tournament.
It may seem that the result of this match is a foregone conclusion but you only need to think back to 1950 and the United States’ shock 1- 0 victory over England at Belo Horizonte to know that nothing is certain in football.
Vahirua told the press yesterday: “They don’t want to be ridiculed, they want to show …we are up to the task. The players are all aware there is a chasm between the professional and amateur world.
“I think tomorrow we will not be on a par with Nigeria … they have been professional for years, but mentally we are ready. We will fight like lions and we will do anything to represent our country.”
We would love to hear your opinions ahead of the game! Who is your money on?