Tahiti v Nigeria: Islanders to let in solitary first-half goal

Confederations Cup 2013

Tahiti v Nigeria, Monday 20:00, BBC Three, Match Odds: Tahiti 38.0, Nigeria 1.08, The Draw 16.0

Tahiti's dip into the big time as Oceania's champions looks set to be a test too far for the tiny island nation, rated at 138th in the world by FIFA.

When you consider that the Tahitians only have one professional player among their ranks, keeping up with the planet's finest national teams is not easily done.

The 2012 OFC Nations Cup winners have never actually played a nation outside of their confederation, so the fishermen and postmen are in for a rude awakening.

However, that's not to belittle a team which has managed to break Australia and New Zealand's monopoly of OFC representation at this competition for the first time since its conception - of course assisted somewhat by Australia's AFC defection in 2006.

ACoN champions Nigeria will make tough opposition for any side the play though, as the Super Eagles arrive at the party in pretty spectacular form.

No side has beaten the Africans in 17 games ahead of this clash, including that run to glory back in the winter which booked the Nigerians' ticket to Brazil for this festival of champions.

During that time, John Obi Mikel and co have beaten the Ivory Coast and drawn with Mexico in a recent friendly, looking very well placed to qualify for the big one next summer at the top of Group F. Win that and only a play-off with another group winner stands in their way.

This promises to be an exercise in keeping the score respectable for the Pacific side.

Half Time Score

In both World Cup qualifiers with the only team of any real quality they have faced, New Zealand, played last year, Tahiti went into the break a goal down. With Tahiti looking to avoid being embarrassed, they will no doubt defend with gusto in the first 45 before giving way in the second half when legs tire.

A single goal advantage for Nigeria - who have only scored two or more in the first half of one of their last dozen games - seems reasonable before the floodgates open in the second period.

Nigeria Total Goals

The gulf in class between the sides suggests that Nigeria will have fill their boots against the Tahitians. If New Zealand can put three past them, then it certainly makes sense that the champions of Africa can at least match that tally.

Recommended Bets
Best Bet: Back Nigeria to lead 1-0 at half time @ 3.45
Nigeria to score three or more goals @ 1.5

(Source: Betfair


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