There's really not much to say about this one but Tahiti sure made it fun for a while. They did not shirk and they did not hunker. They attacked in numbers when they had the chance and the crowd in Belo Horizonte appreciated every lovely touch, every one-touch pass, and every one of Tahiti's ten shots on goal.
Nigeria, on the other hand, played like a disorganized bunch of (highly-skilled) amateurs. And as if their skill level advantage wasn't enough, Nigeria seemed to get all the lucky bounces as well. Their first goal came via a double-deflection on a long shot, the shot opportunity itself presenting itself only after the referee deflected Tahiti's clearance into Echiejile's path. That was the fifth minute and it was already obvious that today would not be the one day out of a million that Tahiti would pull off the miracle.
Nigeria's next two goals came from absolute gifts: an errant backpass for 2-0, the goalkeeper spilling a low cross for 3-0. But as the half-time whistle approached, Tahiti actually grew into the game. Nigeria's lack of concentration - glaring even in the face of incredibly subpar opposition - allowed Tahiti time and space to create and run at Enyeama's goal.
The Iron Warriors would get their proper reward a few minutes into the second half, semi-pro Jonathan Tehau beating Celtic's Efe Ambrose to the far post header on a corner. Tahiti's celebration was worth the price of admission in and of itself:
Nigeria would eventually net three more goals. Yet even at 6-1, it was not exactly an impressive showing from the Super Eagles. Kenneth Omeruo lasted 74 minutes, his rather bad play and subsequent foul at the edge of the box his standout contribution. John Obi Mikel went the full 90 but mirrored the rest of his teammates' levels of cohesion and effort. He did provide a sweet secondary assist for Nigeria's fifth - it was a pass he tried multiple times, but this time, for once, his forwards managed to stay onside.
Mikel's through-ball sets up Nigeria's 5th goal. pic.twitter.com/8wWp7CIhHw— Carefree Chronicles (@CareFreeChronic) June 17, 2013
That being said, it would be unwise to read too much into Nigeria's performance in this match. Their true tests will come versus Uruguay and Spain. For now, let's just enjoy Tahiti's joy:
GOAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TAHITI!!!!!!! WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!!! #NeverGiveUp Tehau HERO!!!!!!— Tahiti Football (@TahitiFootball) June 17, 2013