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Apia, Samoa • It was only a 2-1 victory over Tonga in the start of Oceania World Cup qualifying Tuesday night, but for soccer's worst national team it was a triumph like no other.
Led by former U.S. Under-20 coach Thomas Rongen, American Samoa won its first international soccer match after 30 consecutive losses over 17 years. American Samoa is a U.S. protectorate in the South Pacific with a population of about 55,000.
American Samoa, tied for 204th and last in the FIFA world rankings, had been outscored 229-12 since starting international play in 1994, including a world-record 31-0 loss to Australia in a World Cup qualifier in 2001.