Tims team far from disgraced

By STEVE SPINKS

THE remote chance of playing in the 2010 Soccer World Cup is over for Eureka's Tim Jerks.

Jerks, who coaches the Cook Islands national team, and his side were knocked out of the Oceania qualifying tournament in the pool stages.

Fiji, Vanuata, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia progressed to the semi-finals today.

The Cook Islands may have been knocked out but they were far from disgraced.

They opened the tournament with a 4-0 loss to Fiji, followed by a 3-0 loss to New Caledonia.

Fiji and New Caledonia made the semi-finals (Fiji defeated NZ earlier this year in a friendly).

However, the Cook Islands rebounded to defeat Tuvalu 4-1 but lost to Tahiti 1-0 in their final match of the tournament.

The win over Tuvalu, who Jerks coached before taking on his role with the Cook Islands, was far from easy.

The Cook Islands led 2-0 with seven minutes remaining, but Tuvalu scored to put a scare through the leaders.

Eventually, Jerks' former team was subdued with another goal in the 88th minute and the last scored in stoppage time.

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