Confederations Cup of Life: Nigeria vs. Tahiti / Monday Open Thread

Scrum. - Martin Hunter

Forecast: cloudy with a high chance of goals.

Welcome to Cool Runnings, football style! That movie came out 20 years ago and that makes me feel old.

The Confederations Cup has been a bit bland so far. Brazil strolled to easy victory in the opener, Mexico vs. Italy passed without any fireworks from Mario Balotelli, and Spain was the most Spain that Spain has ever been. But fear not, (semi-)meaningless international football-loving audience! Tahiti is here!

When Australia abdicated to the OFC, it fell to New Zealand to represent Oceania in all FIFA competitions ... but somehow they managed to get upset by Tahiti* at the 2012 OFC Nations Cup and so here we are with the nation ranked 138th by FIFA playing in a tournament designed for the best of the best. I love the smell of a minor massacre in the afternoon.

* (or New Caledonia, or some other tiny island nation; full details in the comments below by users who care)

Tahiti national football team can count on exactly one full-time professional footballer. Marama Vahirua, 33, plays in France and many years ago was even part of a few France U-21 teams. If his last name is familiar, that's because his cousin, Pascal Vahirua, was a French international. It also means you're old, since you can remember names from EURO '92.

Tahiti also has four members of the Tehau family on the team. Twin brothers Lorenzo and Alvin, their older brother Jonathan, and cousin Teaonui. You know Teaonui is from the hipster side of the family with his fancy non-European first name. Jerk.

Half the Tahiti team is made up from members of local team A.S. Dragon, including leading scorer Steevy Chong Hue. That's Steevy with two e's. I love you, Tahiti.

So join me in applauding FIFA for their inclusivity and hope that Tahiti don't end up conceding double-digit goals in every match...

(Oh, and of course John Obi Mikel and Kenneth Omeruo will be featuring for Nigeria. Mikel might even get a goal because I expect every Nigerian player to get a goal today.)

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