Tahiti thrash Samoa in World Cup qualifying, New Caledonia held by PNG

Tahiti took control of their World Cup qualifying group on Sunday with a 4-0 thrashing of Samoa.

The second round of qualifying in the Oceania region doubles as the OFC Nations Cup, taking place in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, with the winners going on to take part in next summer's Confederations Cup in Russia.

Tahiti are the current holders of the OFC title, and represented the region at the Confed Cup in Brazil three years ago -- where they lost 6-1 to Nigeria, 10-0 to Spain and 8-0 to Uruguay.

Coach Ludovic Graugnard made a good start to defending the OFC crown with a comfortable opening group-stage victory. Teaonui Tehau scored twice while Steevy Chong Hue and Alvin Tehau also netted before the break to put the game to bed in the first half.

In the other group game, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia played out a 1-1 draw.

Tommy Semmy put PNG ahead four minutes before half-time but he was sent off after receiving a second yellow card after the interval. Jean-Philippe Saiko levelled for New Caledonia in the 84th minute and they should have gone on to take all three points but Cesar Zeoula hit the bar with a late penalty.

The top two go through to the knockout rounds of the OFC Nations Cup, though this has no bearing on World Cup qualification.

All but the bottom team in the two four-nation groups advance to the next stage of World Cup qualifying, which then features two three-team groups. The winner of each group meets to decide who goes through to the inter-confederation playoff against the nation that finishes fifth in the South American region.