Fiji hammer Micronesia 38-0, break record

PORT MORESBY: The Federated States of Micronesia’s first appearance at an Oceania Football Confederation Tournament went from bad to worse on Sunday when they were thrashed 38-0 by Fiji in Port Moresby.

Micronesia were also hammered 30-0 by Tahiti on Friday in the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea, which are doubling as the Oceania qualifying tournament for next year’s Rio Olympics. Atonio Tuivuna grabbed 10 goals for Fiji’s under-23 side, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Vanuatu in their opening match and were aware they needed to get close to 30 goals to stay in touch with Tahiti in Group A.

The top two sides in each group go through to the semi-finals of the Olympic qualifying tournament. The Fijians, who scored in the first minute of play and raced to a 21-0 lead at halftime, broke the record for most goals in one game in the tournament, the Tahitians had equalled on Friday. Tahiti also beat the Cook Islands 30-0 at the Pacific Games in 1971.

The Pacific Games are a multi-sport event held every four years, with the OFC deciding this year’s event would provide the gateway to the Rio Olympics. Oceania heavyweights New Zealand are ineligible to win the gold medal at the Games but need to win the Olympic qualifying part of the tournament to advance to Rio. The semi-finals and final for the Pacific Games will be held after the July 12 OFC final.

Oceania also played host to the record victory for a team in a full international when Australia beat American Samoa 31-0 in a World Cup qualifier in Coffs Harbour in 2001.