Next Goal Wins

Next Goal Wins

Mike Brett (2014)

93min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
A big-hearted underdog tale in the mould of 2011 Oscar winner Undefeated, Next Goal Wins focuses on another bunch of underachievers: the football team of American Samoa. Mike Brett and Steve Jamison's documentary follows the unpaid part-timers as they compete in the South Pacific Games and seek qualification for the 2014 World Cup under incoming coach Thomas Rongren, having lost all their previous competitive matches, including a record 31-0 thrashing by Australia in 2001. A clash of cultures between the abrasive, atheist Dutchman and his meek, religious charges threatens to derail the enterprise from the very start, but there's a desire to heal old wounds on both sides that brings them together in the end. The film has plenty of pace, lots of deft touches and doesn't put a foot wrong as it charts the progress of the team, interspersing the action with insights from the players into their small but proud island nation. Standing out among the squad are the testimonies of long-suffering goalie Nicky Salapu and transgender defender Jaiyah Saelua, whose inclusion and acceptance is a breath of a fresh air in a game often marred by intolerance. Brimming with emotion, this is the beautiful game as it should be - expect to cheer, shed tears and ultimately applaud a fine display of sporting endeavour.

Summary

Documentary following the American Samoa football team, rated the worst performing international side in the world. The team has famously only scored two goals in 17 years and have lost every competitive game they have ever played. However, maverick Dutch coach Thomas Rongen is hired and given the task of securing a place for them in the 2014 World Cup.

Cast & Crew

Director Mike Brett
Director Steve Jamison

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: IconGuidance: Swearing.Available on: DVDReleased on: 9 May 2014
Documentary Sport