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American Samoa’s soccer team earns silver

The American Samoa soccer team will be coming home with the silver medal from the 5-a-side, Asia Pacific Special Olympics Games in Newcastle, Australia.


"I am happy we got the silver medal medal,"said the team's goalie," Hanipale Tovale.


"This is the best we are able to achieve so please accept our result," said Tausisi Amituana'i.


They lost to the Philippines in the gold medal match 4-1, losing to a strong team in terms of fitness, speed and being technically sound.


"We tried our best and wanted to win the gold, but we are still happy to have a silver medal to take home," said the team's captain, Saito Mauga, who had a prolific scoring output with 12 goals from seven games.


He was the goalie in the first two games before being switched to striker.


"We played well and we are sorry not to win the gold but we still won the silver," said coach Junior Mikaele.  "Thank you American Samoa for your support and prayers for our team, especially to our Football Federation American Samoa President Faiivae Iuli Alex Godinet, our association and of course the American Samoa Special Olympics committee.


"We also want to thank our Governor Lolo Moliga and the First Lady Cynthia Moliga for their support and we look forward to showing our medals when we get back home."


The soccer team players are Mauga, Tovale, Amituana'i, Samoa Togo, Peleti Filipi Jr and Kennoyd Pao and the coaches are Mikaele and Brian Vitolio.


The American Samoa Special Olympics contingent is expected to arrive back in the territory on Tuesday, December 10.