Pago Youth A goes for 2nd three-peat in six years
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Pago Youth A will go for its second three-peat in six years after they won against Taputimu Youth 3-0 in the 2018 FFAS National League semifinals on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Pago Park Soccer Stadium.
Pago Youth A was the top seed of the playoffs while Taputimu Youth was No. 4 in the standings.
Standing in their way is No. 3 Utulei Youth, the only undefeated team from the 2018 National League season after they put away No. 2 Ilaoa & To’omata 5-0 in the other semifinal on Dec. 1, 2018.
Pago Youth and Utulei Youth are the only clubs under the FFAS umbrella to win multiple National League titles, both winning back-to-back titles each during the last four years. Utulei Youth won from 2014-2015, and Pago won it in 2016 and 2017. Pago’s first three-peat went from 2010-2012. Pago has a total of six National League titles.
The championship match, and game for third place between Ilaoa & To’omata and Taputimu Youth, will be held on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 at Pago Park Soccer Stadium.
NO. 1 PAGO YOUTH A 3, NO. 4 TAPUTIMU YOUTH 0
Rambo Tapui scored twice and Puni Samuelu added the third goal as Pago Youth A dispatched Taputimu 3-0 in the 2018 FFAS National League semifinal.
Taputimu pestered Pago Youth the entire game and threatened to score, even when it was level at 0-0, but each time the defending champs found a way to stop the promising attacks.
Taputimu was lacking in experience with many of their players new to the scene, while Pago Youth’s team is littered with American Samoa youth and senior international players from front to back.
Their senior international level players are Rambo Tapui, Ryan Samuelu, 2011 captain JR Amisone and 2011 backup goalie Chinfu Ta’ase. Then they have great support from up and coming youth international players in this year’s U19 and U16 captain Gabriel Taumua, Roy Ledoux, Peni Collins and Afa Sione. Two other former youth international players are also important keys to their squad, Puni Samuelu and Ueli Tualaulelei.
With all these players making up their starting squad, Pago Youth A was too strong for Taputimu, winning their second meeting of the year 3-0. These two teams met three weeks ago with Pago winning 4-2.
NO. 3 UTULEI YOUTH 5, NO. 2 ILAOA & TO’OMATA 0
These two teams played to a 2-2 draw on Nov. 17, and all in all Utulei would have five games end in ties.
This time around, Utulei Youth made sure there would be no dramatics in this game as they scored three goals in the first half, and two in the second to complete the rout.
Despite the five goals, Ilaoa & To’omata put up a strong fight in the first half, only allowing the first goal in the 16th minute by Palauni Tapusoa. Valaauina Vaieli scored 11 minutes later for a 2-0 lead, and Pesamino Victor converted a penalty kick in the 32nd minute to complete the first half’s tally.
Tapusoa scored his second goal of the game in the second half (40th minute), and Austin Kaleopa made it 5-0 with 16 minutes to play.
Utulei will be looking to win their third National League title in four years.