Samoa have edged through to Stage 2 of OFC 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifying on goal difference, amid a hugely tense finale to the four-nation event in Tonga.

The pre-tournament favourites secured a 3-0 win over Tonga, while in the latter game a 2-0 victory for American Samoa over Cook Islands saw both were eliminated.

Yet it could have been so different with American Samoa needing just one more goal to progress, while Cook Islands -who started the day at the top - would have progressed had they secured a draw.

Samoa now advance to Stage 2 where they have been drawn alongside Tahiti, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea in the eight-team event which doubles as the OFC Nations Cup.