Vikings win championship in dramatic final
(FFAS press release) — Faga’itua took home the ASHAA Boys Soccer championship after defeating the Samoana Sharks 3-2 in a dramatic and thrilling back-and-forth final at Pago Park Soccer Stadium on Monday, May 7, 2011.
It was dramatic from the start with the two top contenders for the Player of the Year Award — Samoana’s Elama Fa’atonu and Faga’itua’s Shalom Luani — trading goals in the first half of the match. Fa’atonu would go on to win the award due to his superior goal scoring numbers to that of Luani.
It also turned very dramatic in the end when the championship game’s MVP Luani was taken out of the game after a nasty collision with Samoana’s Palauni Tapusoa.
Both players did not finish out the match and were taken to the hospital but as of May 8 Luani and Tapusoa were okay and back in school.
That collision caused the loss of the Vikings best player with Samoana leading 2-1 but their resilience saw them through to a victorious end. It also helped that Samoana wa down a man several minutes into the second half after Neemia Kaleopa was cautioned with his second yellow.
The loss of Luani seemed to give Faga’itua inspiration as Asema Mailo struck from inside the box to equalize and a little later David Alo scored the goal winner after blasting a rebound past the goalie.
FFAS President Iuli Alex Godinet was on hand to present the trophies for 1st and 2ndplaces in the Varsity and J-V divisions.
Vikings’ coach Lalomilo Mano was given the Coach of the Year award while Luani’s father Peni Luani was on hand to receive his son’s MVP trophy.
For the J-V division the Samoana Sharks were officially crowned champions while Leone finished in 2nd. Kaleopa Siligi of Samoana was named MVP while Silasila Samuelu got the Coach of the Year award.
“FFAS is again thankful towards DOE and its Athletics Department for working together with our staff in running another successful high school soccer competition,” said Iuli.“The strength of our youth (U-17s, U-20s) national teams comes from the high school competition,” explained FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua. “So this is one of our very important competitions of the year because it’s helping us prepare for the OFC U-20 championships in January and the U-17 tournament in April 2013.”