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Our Women Top Group B

Our Women Top Group B
Adi Lusiana Lagilevu in control for Fiji against Cook Islands in Apia on August 11, 2017. Photo: OFC Media
August 12
11:00 2017

The Vodafone Fijians football team defeated Cook Islands 2-0 to claim the top spot in Group B, knocking the former front-runners down to second – and ending Tonga’s knockout stage hopes – in Group B’s final day of action at the OFC U-16 Women’s Championship yesterday.

Their impressive 6-1 over American Samoa earlier in the morning had placed Tonga on equal points with Fiji but the Melanesians booked Tonga’s flight home only a few hours later with another outstanding performance.

The Cook Islands backline did well to hold out Fiji for the first minutes of the game but Eseta Sinukula found space in front of her in the 24th minute, weaved through the backline then placed the ball into goal at back post.

In the first minute of injury time Dilaisana Drodrolagi sealed the deal for Fiji when she converted a penalty to lift the tally to two.

Cook Islands fought hard for the equaliser but Fiji’s fitness proved a winning element for the side – Cook Islands were shut down up front then tested in defence for the full 90 minutes.

Coach Marika Rodu was very proud to claim the top spot in the group and believed his side reached their peak in the crucial encounter.

“It was amazing to see the girls push up to another level today,” he said.

“I thought it was going to be mission impossible just looking at Cook Islands and their two strong wins but we didn’t let that get us down. We made sure we did our homework, compacted the midfield and focused on using the counter attack and managed to get the result.

“The girls’ performances have been progressing since day one. Today we played the match that we have never played before – not here in Samoa and not back home in Fiji.”

Despite securing their semi-final berth in their previous match, Cook Islands coach Theresa Tatuava was disappointed not to finish top of the group.

“We knew that we had a place in the semi-final but that wasn’t going to make us step down and take it easy,” she said.

Oceania Football




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