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Opinion, Opinion

Our FIFA World Cup Bid Gets Tougher

Our FIFA World Cup Bid Gets Tougher
NZ All Whites's Michael Boxall beats Vodafone Fiji's Roy Krishna at Churchill Park in Lautoka on Saturday . Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA
March 27
11:00 2017

We should not be carried away by the hearty performance of our Vodafone national football side after they went down 2-0 to the New Zealand All Whites at Churchill Park, Lautoka.

This has placed them in a much tougher position in terms of qualifying to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, especially when they take on the All Whites in Wellington tomorrow.

Taking a look back at Saturday’s performance, what led to our downfall was our strikers’ inability to score goals. This has been an issue, which need to be resolved if our national football team are to progress.

We cannot do that if we always come out as second best in every international match we play. Even national coach Christophe Gamel knows that when he expressed his disappointment at the national team’s failure to find the back of the net after presented numerous scoring opportunities against the All Whites.

The striking partnership between captain, Roy Krishna and Osea Vakatalesau has failed to produce the goods since 2012 during the 2013 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Lawson Stadium in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Krishna has been in top form for Wellington Phoenix during the A-League competition while we cannot say the same for Vakatalesau. The Ba striker has been struggling to find his form of old when he was the most revered striker in the Oceania region.

But the question, we need to ask was why were other strikers or midfielders who have been scoring goals during the Vodafone Premier League and other tournaments were not taken into consideration?

These are the likes of wily striker Valerio Nawatu, Saula Waqa of Ba, Labasa’s Ratu Anare who received the Golden Boot award for scoring the most goals during the 2016 Courts Inter-District Championship and even veteran midfielder Peni Finau who have been scoring for Lautoka that saw them hoist the Inkk Mobile Battle of the Giants title last year. Any of these players can form a formidable partnership with Krishna upfront and all they need is to be given that opportunity. It’s about time for them to be given that chance as they have been performing consistently and have been scoring goals as well. This is the only way we can find that elusive winning form once again.

The form that made our team one of the best in the region as we had top strikers like Jimmy Okete, Inia Bola, Kasimiro Dinono, Farouk Janeman, Feroz Khan, Rusiate Waqa, Manu Pokar, Mohammed Salim, Jone Ratu, Aisea Mocelutu, Sam Work, Johnny Williams, Ivor Evans, Simon Peters, Radike Nawalu and the list goes on.

So, let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best but for the time being let’s wish our national football team all the best in their return clash against the All Whites tomorrow.

 

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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