By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Uruguay beat the inexperienced team from Tahiti 8-0 and qualified for the Confederations Cup semi-final, where the Uruguayan outfit will meet Brazil. The game in Recife’s Arena Pernambuco was action-packed from start to finish: two red cards, two penalties and eight goals.
Discovery of the match was Uruguay’s Abel Hernández, a 22-year-old striker, who plays for Italian team, Palermo.
Hernández was part of the action from the beginning as Diego Forlán and Edison Cavani were relegated to the sidelines and scored four goals; the first one after just two minutes.
Also entering the score sheet was Liverpool’s Luis Suárez with two goals towards the end of the game. With these strikes, Suárez surpasses Diego Forlán as Uruguay’s all-time top scorer with a total of 35 goals.
Tahiti, on the other hand, showed great sportsmanship over the entire group phase of the Confederations Cup. At a clear disadvantage with a team that only has one professional player, Tahiti had to concede several goals in every game – ten alone against the Spaniards – the Tahitians held their head up, entering the field with necklaces for their opponents and never seemed to give up.
The Brazilian fans had grown fond of the underdog team, applauding frenetically in every game whenever the Tahitians recovered the ball. The Tahitians thanked them sporting Brazilian flags and holding a poster that read: “Obrigado Brasil” at the end of yesterday’s game.
The Tahitian coach gave every one of his team member’s a fair share to partake in the Polynesian football (soccer) adventure, rotating goalkeepers every match, pitting Xavier Samin against Nigeria, Mickael Roche against Spain and Gilbert Meriel against Uruguay. The latter even held a penalty after fifty minutes against Uruguay’s Aguirregaray.
As the Tahitians make their way back home across the Pacific, Uruguay will face Brazil in their leg of the semi-final in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday.
Read more (in Portuguese).
* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.