Only a second-half own goal has denied American Samoa a second successive win in Oceania qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
Tala Luvu headed a free-kick into his own net just past the hour mark cancelling out Shalom Luani’s goal for American Samoa midway through the first half.
American Samoa began their campaign with a 2-1 victory over Tonga on Tuesday with the win being the first for the Polynesian nation in the FIFA World Cup, having played 12 previous matches over three campaigns with a goal difference of 2-129.
The point means American Samoa will enter Saturday’s final round of matches still with a chance of progressing. Cook Islands conceded an injury time goal to lose their opener 3-2 against host nation Samoa earlier in the week.
The opening match on Matchday 2 of competition at the J.S. Blatter Field in Apia was a keenly contested affair with both goalkeepers busy throughout.
Buoyed by their groundbreaking win two days earlier American Samoa commenced confidently and opened the scoring when Luani pounced on a loose ball before riding several challenges and firing past Tony Jamieson. The impressive Luani had also scored one of his nation’s historic goals in the opening win against Tonga.
Fellow attacker Ramin Ott had good chances to extend the lead either side of the interval, before Cook Islands started to force their way back into the contest.
They got their reward with Paavo Mustonen's free-kick inadvertently directed home by Luvu. The match concluded with openings at either end but there was to be no victor.
The winner of the four-nation Round One competition will progress to Fiji next June where the seven other Oceania nations will enter the qualification process.