Samoa will be contesting Papua New Guinea for the gold medal in the women’s soccer after defeating New Caledonia 3-2.
Samoa Soccer Association is looking ahead to making history for the sport, as the first time Samoa will medal in soccer since the Pacific Games started.
Samoa is already guaranteed a medal but will have to wait after the match on Saturday to determine the colour – gold or silver.
A proud Samoa head coach Nicola Demaine said after the New Caledonia win that the players gave their hundred percent because three goals in soccer are not easy to get.
“Obviously we are pleased with the results, to have your team come back from 2 points and walk away with 3 points, you can’t ask for anything else from your players, “Demaine said.
“They all went out there and gave their hundred per cent and it was enough from the day to get us through to the Gold medal match.
“Samoa Women’s team have played 3 historical matches where they won against Fiji with 1 – 0, Tonga 5 – 0 and draw against American Samoa.
“I can say we are making history and every girl whose watched today should go out there and pick up a football ball and be one of these people in 15 years’ time, it’s the best game in the world and it’s the easiest game to organize and Samoa could be massive in the pacific region if we can work in the right way after the success of this women’s team.”￼￼
￼The last group match game determined Samoa’s place to play in the gold, silver and bronze matches for the XVI Pacific Games. With team Samoa leading Group A, they now have a chance to play against the mighty Papua New Guinea team for the Gold and Silver matches
“PNG are pretty fast pretty physical and I know they will be organized, I know the coaches personally work with them in the past, and I know what to expect to a degree but we handle it.
“We will come up with a game plan to make sure we make our best to get gold. “We know what to expect from Papua New Guinea for sure. Definitely physical, have to be fast, organized and we will be ready.”
Despite New Zealand not participating in the XVI Pacific Games, Samoa Women’s team will use the opportunity wisely to earn a Medal for Samoa.
“The pacific game is a great event, because New Zealand don’t come and everybody come thinking they can win a gold medal so it’s a massive difference, people prepare, Olympics committee involved and it’s a great spectacle for women’s football and it’s so important where there’s a place we can all come and know we have a chance to win it while we spare some time catching up for new Zealand.￼
￼Coach Nicola Demaine has been involved with Samoa National Women’s team since 2018 and worked for FFS women’s football while working as the Head of OFC Women’s Football department.
“Women’s football has been always a challenge; we know men’s football is a challenge, when we start having successes; hopefully people starting to put in some money for the sports, people are wanting to play and have to put their hands up and hopefully the federation can deliver the opportunity for those young women’s and girls to play, so we have a chances by the nation, and I think gold or silver this girls will going to do that, she added.”
Demaine said they are ready to play with Papua New Guinea.
Ronisa Lipi the captain and the goal keeper of the team was excited with their win against New Caledonia, a strong and fast team.
“ We knew it was going to be a tough game so we gave everything to this game. “We were also spurred on by the support of the spectators. We could hear the encouragement of our parents, families and members of the Soccer Association.
Lipi said their aim now is to get their hands on the gold medal and they are greatly encouraged by the other teams winning medals.
Samoa’s soccer team achievement was emotional for the President of the Football Federation of Samoa Papali’i Samuelu Lesley Petaia.
“ It is history for our association winning a medal while at the same time also an indication that soccer is progressing.”
Samoa are pool winners that included Fiji, Tonga, America Samoa and New Caledonia.