Goals galore as Pacific Games football kicks off

Sixty-five goals were scored across nine matches on the first day of football competition at the Pacific Games in Samoa.

Defending men's champions New Caledonia opened with a 5-0 win over American Samoa before Pool B rivals Solomon Islands upped the ante with a 13-0 thrashing of Tuvalu.

However Bonitos head coach Wim Rijsbergen was not getting carried away with much tougher games still to come.

"We won 13-0 but that doesn't mean a thing, I think, because Tuvalu had a very bad preparation - they were five days on a boat or three days or whatever, so there was not the easy start for the boys from Tuvalu. On the other side, for us it was a good game to get started and of course we scored some good goals," he said.

The New Zealand men also put 13 unanswered goals past Tonga in their official Pacific Games debut, four years after being disqualified from the Olympic qualifying tournament in Papua New Guinea.

Meanwhile Fiji edged Tahiti 2-1 in the closest match of the day.

The Bula Boys scored in each half and held firm defensively during the final ten minutes, after Tahiti scored a wonder goal from outside the box and chased a late equaliser.

Head coach Christophe Gamel said while they could have been more clinical in front of goal it was a positive start against a tough opponent.

"You have seen that we have created many many occasions to score so this is very positive. After the boys they need to take more confidence to reshape the team a bit faster defensively and sometimes they need to play a bit faster but, honestly, congrats to them, they have applied the plan perfectly," he said.

The Fiji women's team walloped American Samoa 11-0 in their Pacific Games opener while the Cook Islands women had an impressive 2-0 win over Tahiti.

There were mixed fortunes for the host nation, with the Samoan men thumped 6-0 by Papua New Guinea while the women's team thrashed Tonga 5-0.

Meanwhile the PNG women beat Solomon Islands 5-2 in another high-scoring affair.

The football competition takes a break today and resumes on Wednesday.