Pirae and Papara triumph on penalties

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Both the Coupe du Président and the U-15 Women’s Cup finals were taken down to the wire on Saturday as Pirae secured the double, and Papara won the inaugural U-15 title.

Pirae and Dragon gave their all throughout regulation time but neither side could find the difference that would split them, sending it to a shoot out.

Coached by Raimana Li-Fung Kuee, Pirae have been solid all season having already secured and continued to display that confidence and assuredness throughout the final.

Tahiti internationals Ninahoe Hioe and Tahia Tamarii showed why they’re consistently on national coach Stéphanie Spielmann’s radar, making powerful runs into the box and disrupting the Dragon defence.

An effort from Hioe was denied in a goal scramble, while Tamarii hit the underside of the crossbar with a rocket of a shot which bounced out of the goal, without crossing the line. For their part, the U-23 Dragon side were impressive in their ability to hold their own against a more experienced, senior side.

Pirae had the opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty, however Lanihei Rua sent her spot kick wide of the upright, leaving the two sides locked in a 0-0 draw at the end of regulation time.

Pirae won the penalty shootout 3-2 to earn the double and secure their claim as the best women’s football team in Tahiti in 2020/21.

Pirae captain Vateanui Deane was elated the efforts of her side in the final and throughout the season was rewarded.

“They wanted it too,” she said of Dragon, “they’re the championship winners so we knew they’d be wanting the double this year. But we were here, we never gave up.”

Pirae celebrate their Coupe du Président victory. Credit: Christophe Fotozz via FTF

In the earlier match, the first ever U-15 Women’s Cup final played out between AS Papara and AS Tefana. Played out over two 30 minute halves, both sides showed incredibly desire on the pitch as they pushed to find the difference which could seal the inaugural title.

Tefana opened the scoring in the 24th minute courtesy of Teavai Hatitio but the lead was short-lived as Papara’s Teataura Torohia fired her side back into the running with an equaliser five minutes later.

The second half saw the two sides remain locked in a 1-1 draw sending the match into the first penalty shootout of the day.

Tehaulani Elisabeth Urima was outstanding between the sticks for Papara, denying Tefana during the shootout while her teammates slotted their chances to give Papara the win.

Papara captain Haranui Le Gayic said her side was unified in their collective desire to give their all for the win.

“Right up to the end it was 1-0, we were able to pull ourselves back and make it 1-1 and we got to penalties. We have to thank our keeper because without here we wouldn’t be here, she did everything.

“We worked for months with this objective, for the cup. Now we’ve won it against a great team from Tefana, it’s magnificent. The double, we’ve won it all.”

AS Papara celebrate their Cup victory. Credit: Christophe Fotozz via FTF

Following the men’s Coupe de Polynésie final, the prize giving for the season was held with trophies handed out for team victories, as well as individual awards.

Te Ui Tefana’s Francesca Pagoubealo was the top scorer across both the Senior Women’s League and the Coupe du Président with 89 goals.

In the U-23 it was Kohai Mai of Dragon taking home that honour with 33 goals in the league, 10 more than Tetia Mose and Corail Harry.

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