New Caledonia kept fans on the edge of their seats as they came from a goal down against Solomon Islands to secure a 2-2 draw and keep their OFC Women’s Nations Cup 2022 dream alive.
How close the side came to being eliminated hasn’t been lost on captain, Marielle Haocas, who said the players were on an emotional rollercoaster ride throughout the match.
“It was a difficult match, emotionally,” the 29-year-old Hienghène Sport defender said.
“There was suspense throughout the entire match because we knew a loss would see us eliminated. But we knew how to go about securing a draw which allowed us to continue on this adventure.”
With a quarter-final against Samoa awaiting them at HFC Bank Stadium this afternoon, New Caledonia have been wise about their recovery, and the need to stay focused on the task.
“Everything in camp is going well,” Haocas said.
“We’ve put everything in place to recover the best and most effectively possible because we don’t have a lot of time between our two matches.
We’re expecting a pretty physical game against Samoa. We have to win every challenge. If we keep working together, getting the basics right, and losing the ball as little as possible we are in with a very good chance.”
New Caledonia coach Michel Berbeche shared similar sentiments to his captain when asked about the task ahead.
“We haven’t changed anything we normally do. We’re still smiling, still taking a positive approach,” he said.
“We’ve seen the two matches Samoa played and we’ll take them seriously, like the others, we’ll play to our strengths and see how it goes.”