Tahiti is not precisely known for great soccer, but, during Monday’s one sided score, they managed the impossible by scoring a goal against Nigeria at the Confederation’s Cup in Brazil.
The result for any other team would be dismal, but you wouldn’t know it from the reaction of the team.
Tahiti is ranked 138th in the world, and this is their first appearance in a soccer match at this level.
Jonathan Tehau scored the stunner at the 54th-minute, and, even though at the time the Nigerian team was up 3-0, the islanders erupted in celebration with an imitation of the kayak-paddling celebration performed by Marama Vahirua, their only professional player.
Tehay could not believe it when he saw the ball go into the net.
“I didn’t think of anything. I just celebrated the goal with my friends,” said the 25-year-old, who also scored a goal for the other team later on.
“It’s just huge. Already, coming here to Brazil, and then scoring the goal, I’m very happy for me, for my family, my friends and my team-mates.” added the player from Tahiti.
Afterwards, Tehau said he hoped that this goal would change his life and when a reporter asked what team he would like to play for, he said smiling, “Why not dream? Barcelona.”
Vahirua and his teammates couldn’t be happier, to them it is more that they had ever imagined in an international competition. The final score was 6-1 against them.
“For us, we’ve won,” he said. “Nobody saw us scoring a goal; nobody but us. From the start, I told my team-mates to believe in ourselves. Football is never an exact science. We might be amateurs, but in our hearts and our heads, we have to act like professionals. We’re proud of ourselves.”
The crowd was clearly backing the underdog, Tahiti. Coach Eddy Etaeta said, “I looked at the crowd and said: ‘Wow, Belo Horizonte is with us.'”
The European champion, Spain, now awaits Tahiti for their next encounter.
[Image via Shutterstock]