Tahiti put up a good fight in the final, but in the end, it was the Asian side that took home the first-ever OFC Youth Development Tournament.
To many people’s surprise, and perhaps to some joy, the two guest nations, India and Estonia did not occupy both spots in the final of the inaugural OFC Youth Development Tournament in Vanuatu.
Only India made it that far, where they would face Tahiti. Estonia had to settle for the bronze final against New Caledonia, while PNG and hosts Vanuatu duked it out for fifth and sixth.
And both Oceania sides gave their opponents a hard game was all that separated New Caledonia from a bronze was a 95thminute free-kick goal from Estonia’s Joonas Luts.
For Tahiti, the dam broke just past the 70th minute mark as India and Manvir Singh made the breakthrough.
As Tahiti were chasing the equaliser, Vikram Partap headed in the decider in the 88th minute.
In the match for fifth place, the hosts Vanuatu came out on top. It took a penalty shootout to find a winner, but the hosts finally had something go their way this tournament.
So the results on the final day:
Final: Tahiti – India 0-2
Bronze final: Estonia – New Caledonia 1-0
Fifth place match: PNG – Vanuatu 0-0 (2-3 on penalties)
Now everyone’s attention will turn towards the Olympic qualifying and the Futsal Nations Cup, but this tournament has hopefully given OFC motivation to do more like this. They have already as good as confirmed a girl’s edition taking place early next year.