Football

Confederations Cup 2013: Tahiti make history

Tahiti celebrate their famous goal (©GettyImages)
Tahiti celebrate their famous goal (©GettyImages).

Tahiti, ranked 138th in the world, managed a shock when they won the OFC Nations Cup to qualify for this summer's Confederations Cup in Brazil.

This meant that for the first time ever the nation representing Oceania wasn't Australia  (who are now part of AFC) or New Zealand. 

Inevitably the next three games will prove too much for the minnows, who only have a population of approximately 179,000.

This means the Maracana from the 1970s would have been able to hold the whole population, but for now they can enjoy the experience of being in a major tournament because when will we ever see Tahiti in a major tournament again?

Maybe never again in our lifetime so let's enjoy this piece of history.

Jonathan Tehau created history by becoming the first man to score at a major tournament for Tahiti, who achieved a dream on Monday night against Nigeria.

The 6-1 defeat will be considered a respectable result by the Tahitians and they will now face a team 137 places above them in Spain, creating arguably the biggest mis-match in world football.

However Tahiti is what everyone is talking about. With the excitement of the Premier League resting, meant the nation was gripped and fell in love with the great underdog.

Tahiti was the top trend on Twitter during the night and the Tahiti FA Twitter page began the night with 400 followers before rising to 8,300 followers.

The downside, however, is the fact that maybe having such an outsider means the tournament becomes de-valued and the sense of anything can happen goes when you know before a ball is kicked that Tahiti will lose.

TV broadcasters are trying to promote the tournament as a major competition for the nation to enjoy while they wait for the return of the Premier League - and with games like this they may lose respect for the tournament. 

However we must spare a thought for Spain, who have the strange task of playing a game they shouldn't have to as they will win. This could also embarrass Tahiti with score-lines of 15-0 being predicted.

It's similar to the England v San Marino fixture where the 5-0 victory was considered failure and we couldn't shout about an 8-0 victory.

We all hope they can double their goal-tally against Spain, but for now we will raise a glass to Tahiti and wish them all the best in Oceanic football.

 

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