Hello, and welcome to Sports Mole
's coverage of the match between Tahiti and Nigeria in the Confederations Cup
On paper, this doesn't look like the most glamorous of ties, but this encounter is an historic one for Tahiti: It's their first ever match at a major FIFA tournament. Nigeria go into tonight's game as huge favourites, but the Oceania nation will be keen to put in a good display with the world's eyes on them this evening.
I will bring you a bit more info on Tahiti in a few minutes, but first of all, let me bring you tonight's team news.
: Samin; Vallar, Simon, Ludivion, Alvin Tehau; Caroine, Bourebare, Aitamai, Jonathan Tehau
, Chong Hue; Vahirua.
NIGERIA XI: Enyeama; Oboabona, Echiejile, Ambrose, Omeruo; Mikel, Ogude, Mba, Ujah, Musa; Oduamadi.
So then, I said that I would bring you a bit of background information on the Oceania minnows. Tahiti have just one professional player in their ranks, Marama Vahirua
, who plays for Greek Superleague side Panthrakikos. The rest of their team play in the Tahiti first division.
Tahiti have qualified for the Confederations Cup by winning the OFC Nations Cup in 2012, beating New Caledonia in the final. They are ranked 138th in the FIFA world rankings, below the likes of Syria and Rwanda.
As for Nigeria, they made it to Brazil by winning the Africa Cup of Nations. They are missing a couple of their key players, most notably Chelsea's Victor Moses, but they still have the likes of his Blues teammate John Obi Mikel
and Celtic's Efe Ambrose
on show .
We are just 10 minutes away from kickoff in Belo Horizonte. Rather than predicting who will win this match, it's more a case of how many will Nigeria score? I'm going for five.
The other two sides in this group played their first game in the competition last night, where Spain recorded a 2-1 triumph over Uruguay. Spain against Tahiti ought to be interesting on Thursday night...
The two nations are out on the pitch, and the Tahiti players are singing their national anthem. There are some nervous faces out there, but they look to be embracing the occasion.
The Tahiti players have handed their Nigerian counterparts a chain or a necklace. That's the first time I have seen that before a football match, never mind one of such magnitude. Tahiti will get us underway.
SHOT! Tahiti have had a shot! That's probably a little sarcastic of me, but that wasn't expected this early. It was a fine break too, which finished with Vincent Simon cutting inside before firing a weak shot on target.
I think Tahiti have surprised Nigeria with their confidence on the ball. They are spraying the ball about like Spain at the minute, much to the delight of the locals, who seem to have adopted Tahiti as their second team.
GOAL! Tahiti 0-1 Nigeria (Echiejile)
That's such an unfortunate goal to concede. Uwa Elderson Echiejile was at least 30 yards out, but he decided to try his luck, and boy, did he get lucky. His left-footed effort was going nowhere, but it struck a defender to wrong-foot Xavier Samin and roll into the net.
I hope that goal doesn't effect the exuberance that Tahiti have displayed so far. They have been the better team, and Vahirua saw a shot tipped over the crossbar soon after his team fell behind.
GOAL! Tahiti 0-2 Nigeria (Oduamadi)
Tahiti don't deserve this, but they have conceded a second. They were opened up far too easily by the Nigeria attack, and Nmandi Oduamadi jinked past the defender before slotting the ball past Samin. This game is probably done and dusted as far as the result is concerned, but I hope Tahiti don't concede into double figures.
It should probably be 3-0. Mikel coasted past two Tahiti players before playing the ball into the stride of Ahmed Musa, who did superbly to create the opening for himself, but after taking the ball past the goalkeeper, he completely mis-hit the ball.
Tahiti still look pretty decent going forward but their defence is non-existent. It's could be carnage when they play Spain on Thursday! They still have the crowd on their side, but you would think that their enthusiasm might dwindle the longer this game goes on.
We have just seen something that we are never likely to see in the Premier League: John Obi Mikel
has taken a free-kick. It wasn't the worst effort that you will ever see, but the ball was always drifting over.
Tahiti get the crowd on their feet with an enterprising break after Nigeria had committed six men forward, but it comes to no avail when a cross from the right-hand side clears everyone and goes out.
GOAL! Tahiti 0-3 Nigeria (Oduamadi)
Well they certainly aren't helping themselves! Samin has had an absolute shocker. Musa sent in a weak cross from the left which went straight to the Tahiti goalkeeper, but he dropped the ball straight in front of Oduamadi, who promptly dispatched the ball into the net.
CHANCE! That was surely offside, but Samin has kept his side in the game by diving at the feet of Ujah. He has redeemed himself after the error that he made five minutes ago.
Credit to Tahiti, they are still surging forward at will when they have the ball, and they very nearly scored when the ball was played across the box for Vahirua, but it was well defended by a Nigerian player.
Tahiti nearly get in again when a long ball clears the Nigeria defence, but Enyeama was quick off his line to claim the ball. Nigeria have had 69% of the ball as we enter the final 10 minutes of the half.
CHANCE! I was just about to say that Tahiti have weathered the storm, but they should have conceded another goal after being opened up once again. The ball was played through to Sunday Mba, who had so much time to pick where he wanted to place the ball, but he only proceeded to fall over the ball.
BOOKING! Chong Hue has been Tahiti's most impressive player by a mile on the left wing, and he has drawn a booking out of Kenneth Omeruo on the edge of the area.
CHANCE! Tahiti nearly have the goal that they crave. It's an excellent period of build-up play before they played the ball out wide, which was whipped into the penalty area with pace, but Chong Hue could only glance his header wide of the far post. They have really impressed in the past five minutes.
There will be one minute of added-on time.
HALF-TIME: Tahiti 0-3 Nigeria
In all fairness, the match hasn't been as one-sided as the scoreline suggests, but at the same time, Nigeria should have scored two or three more goals than they have done. This kind of match was expected, but Tahiti have certainly not disgraced themselves. They look creative going forward, but I don't suppose that matters if you can't defend.
A couple of half-time stats for you. Nigeria have had 67% of the possession, while they also lead in the shots department, having eight compared to Tahiti's five.
Nigeria may have the match already won, but they can't take their foot off the gas. Goal difference might come into play if they can secure a result against Spain or Uruguay so they need to continue to hunt for further goals.
They may be 3-0 down, but Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta
will probably not be too downhearted at the break. His side would have won plenty of admirers with the way that they have stuck to their task, and the Brazilian crowd will be right behind them to nick a consolation goal in the second half.
The players are heading back out in Belo Horizonte. It looks like Nigeria are going to make a change to their lineup, with Ideye Brown
entering the action. He has been linked with a move to Newcastle United this summer.
Brown isn't actually on the field as of yet, but he is stripped off on the touchline. Nigeria have just wasted another chance in the Tahiti penalty area, so he might be on sooner rather than later.
Vincent Simon is currently down for Tahiti. It's unclear what he has done, but he is clutching his calf.
CHANCE! Nigeria miss another opportunity to go four ahead, and Musa is the culprit for the second time. The ball trickled across to him in the penalty area, but after moving past the defender, he curled a shot wide of the near post.
SUBSTITUTION! Nigeria finally make the substitution, with Brown coming on for Ujah.
SUBSTITUTION! It looks as though Nicolas Vallar is making his way off the pitch for Tahiti, with Stephane Faatiarau coming on as is replacement.
GOAL! Tahiti (Tehau) 1-3 Nigeria
Tahit have scored! I repeat, Tahiti have scored! That's massive for the minnows, who score through Jonathan Tehau. It was poor marking by Nigeria, but Tahiti won't care. Tehau was in the right place at the right time, rising above Ambrose at the back post, and the crowd are going wild!
All of a sudden, we have a game on! The support for Tahiti is deafening from the Brazilian crowd, who have adopted the Oceania nation like one of their own. Imagine if they get another!
Nigeria really have to put this game to bed as soon as possible. I was dismissive of Tahiti's chances after the first half, but they have the momentum right now, and they are pushing their opponent back in their own half.
Nigeria finally show a bit more ambition, but Musa's cross is straight to Samin who, unlike in the first half, claims the ball. Most of the African nation's play is coming through the right winger now, but his final ball has been lacking.
DISALLOWED GOAL! Oduamadi thinks he has his hat-trick after converting a cross from Brown, but he is adjudged to be offside, although replays suggest that he wasn't.
GOAL! Tahiti 1-4 Nigeria (Tehau own goal)
That is surely game over this time around. Jonathan Tehau has quickly gone from hero to villan for Tahiti after deflecting the ball into his own net after colliding with Samin.
I would imagine that Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi
will be keen to net two or three more before the full-time whistle. They are back on top now, and it's surely only a matter of time before they score their fifth. Brown is the next to miss an opportunity to get a strike in after a heavy touch when clear on goal.
GOAL! Tahiti 1-5 Nigeria (Oduamadi)
Oduamadi was denied his hat-trick a few minutes ago, but he isn't to be denied on this occasion. Mikel played in Brown down the right-hand side, who eased the ball across goal for the Varese striker to tap home from three yards.
Tahiti get a free-kick 25 yards from goal, which has the crowd waiting expectantly for another goal. However, they are disappointed when Stanley Atani can only float the ball over the bar.
GOAL! Tahiti 1-6 Nigeria (Echiejile)
It's turning into a bit of a rout for Nigeria, which is extremely harsh on Tahiti. The African's are taking the ball past the defenders at will now, and Echiejile is on hand to fire the ball into the net from 12 yards via a deflection. At least it won't be double figures...surely...
There's a tiredness about Tahiti's play right now, which was perhaps to be expected. They have put so much effort into this match, but regardless of the final scoreline, they will remember this game for a long, long time.
CHANCE! Tahiti come oh so close to netting their second! That would have been surreal. The ball was floated over the top of the Nigerian defence, which was met by Jonathan Tehau, but his header from the edge of the penalty area went inches past the post.
There will be just one minute of added-on time. I think the referee has taken pity on Tahiti.
FULL-TIME: Tahiti 1-6 Nigeria
Well there you have it. Nigeria win the game by an emphatic 6-1 scoreline to move to the top of Group B, but they will need to improve if they are going to trouble Spain or Uruguay in their upcoming games. They deserved their victory, but the headlines will be about Tahiti.
There was talk of Tahiti, ranked 138 in the FIFA world rankings, being on the end of a record-breaking defeat but that was never in danger of materialising. While they were outclassed, their togetherness and spirit was admirable, and they also got their goal through Jonathan Tehau, which I'm sure will be replayed over and over by the country's supporters.
That's all from Sports Mole this evening. The Confederations Cup returns on Wednesday when the likes of Brazil and Italy will be action. Thank you for joining us tonight, and we hope to see you again soon. Goodbye for now.