Hosts Tahiti have created a slice of history by becoming the first current Oceania nation to move into the semi-finals of a FIFA tournament with a stirring 6-1 win over South American champions Argentina in front of a widely enthusiastic Papeete crowd.
The match then saw a controversial moment with home side defender Angelo Tchen suffering a head injury, eventually resulting in a red card for Santiago Hilaire.
Argentina were forced to play two minutes a man down, and from the resultant free-kick Taiarui hit the inside of the post with the ball narrowly bouncing away to safety. The South Americans somehow stoutly hung on until the first break without conceding despite their numerical inferiority.
The theatre continued in the final period with local icon Naea Bennett scoring Tahiti’s second with a typical back post header early on.
And the Tahitian dream moved a step closer when Heimanu Taiarui forced his shot through the goalkeeper’s hands for his second of the night. Celebrations were dampened slightly, however with the defender receiving his second caution of the tournament for his excessive celebrations.
The contest was surely over midway through the final period as Raimana Li Fung Kuee converted with a classy finish, typical of the No7’s form in the tournament.
Heiarii Tavanae added further to the local joy with a goal in the dying seconds.