Belo Horizonte: Nigeria rolled to a 6-1 victory at Confederations Cup on Monday over Tahiti, who were making their debut at a major FIFA tournament.
Nnamdi Oduamadi scored a hat-trick for the African champions, while Elderson Echiejile added two more. Tahiti avoided humiliation Monday in their debut at a global football tournament by scoring a goal in their loss to Nigeria.
Jonathan Tehau headed in a goal early in the second half to reduce the team's deficit to 3-1. The Tahitians then gave their rowing boat celebration to their biggest audience yet.
The goal generated the biggest cheers of the match at the Mineirao Stadium, where the local Brazilians adopted Tahiti as their team while jeering the Nigerians.
Tahiti, a team that comes from a small island in the South Pacific and are 138th in the FIFA rankings, are used to playing in front of a few hundred players. But thousands were watching in Belo Horizonte and millions more on television.
"We've shown the world there's some real quality in Tahiti," said Marama Vahirua, the only professional in Tahiti's team. "Just our presence here is a victory and it was fantastic to be adopted by the Brazilian public."
Tehau's elation was short-lived, however. Shortly after scoring, he netted an own-goal. Although there was never any threat of anything but a Nigeria victory, Tahiti showed adventure throughout, managing five shots.
"The last 15 minutes were really difficult for us physically because we've never experienced such a tough game before," Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta said. "I'd like to pay tribute to my players, they were fantastic."