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Fijians Unlucky: Farina

Fijians Unlucky: Farina
Action from the Fiji-Myanmar Under-20 match with 26,000 fans watching from the stands. Photo: Vodafone Fiji Facebook
February 20
07:12 2015

More than 20,000 fans witnessed the Vodafone Fijians Under-20 first match against Myanmar at Mandalar Thiri Football Stadium on Tuesday night.

Coach Frank Farina said VIPs including the Minister for Sports watched the game which Fiji lost 0-1.

“Football in Myanmar is the number one sport and we have been looked after extremely well by Myanmar Football Federation (MFF),” Farina said.

“Our first game attracted 26,000 fans and the VIPs in attendance who entered the field prior to kick off to greet teams including the Prime Minister, Minister for Sports and Fiji Ambassador in India Yogesh Karan.

“This is something I’m sure the boys will remember for a long time,” he said.

Farina said Fiji performed very well in front of a hostile crowd.

“The boys were very disciplined and stuck to the plan throughout the game. They were unlucky to come in at half-time a goal down.

“Myanmar’s goal came out of nothing really dangerous but unluckily Misiwani failed to hold onto simple ball and they pounced to go 1-0 up in the  27th minute. Prior to that Fiji had two great chances but failed.”

The teams play their second game at 10pm (Fiji time) tonight and Farina said he would work on changes.

“In our second game I have decided to change the whole team because we have three games in five days and it is too much to expect the same players to back up in all three,” he  said.

“It gives a great opportunity to test the so called fringe players in a top quality game in a great stadium and atmosphere and see if they can maintain the structure and style of game we are implementing.

“Also the aim of these tours and preparations is to work on our playing style and to get all the players used to playing at this level under these conditions which are very different to what they are used to in Oceania and Fiji.”

Farina also confirmed there are no injury concerns in the side.

“We have no major injuries at the moment which is great as it is a long tour especially with the Malaysia leg to come,” Farina said.

Meanwhile, Fiji Football team director Tarunesh Reddy confirmed this was the first time for a national team gather a crowd of 26,000 in a friendly match.

“To have a big crowd like this is huge for us as we build up for the FIFA World Cup in New Zealand,” Reddy said.



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