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Lal: We Need To Be More Accurate

The Vodafone Fijian Under-17 football side need to improve on their finishing if they are to stand a chance of beating New Zealand in their final pool match tomorrow. Fijian
18 Feb 2017 11:00
Lal: We Need To Be More Accurate

The Vodafone Fijian Under-17 football side need to improve on their finishing if they are to stand a chance of beating New Zealand in their final pool match tomorrow.

Fijian U17 head coach Shalen Lal was disappointed with their lack of accuracy as they managed only a 3-0 win over minnows Samoa on Thursday night.

“We will need to improve on our striking accuracy if we want to see another win in the competition,” Lal told OFC Media.

“The boys anticipated the first half well but we made a few errors that we’ll need to work on, especially in attacking.

“We came in to score a lot of goals but things didn’t go our way. The match was very physical and I lost a lot of players through injuries and we had good chances but missed a lot of opportunities. The boys tried their best but that is football.”

Although knowing the huge task ahead, Lal says, he is pleased with his side for achieving what they have set out to do.

“We needed the maximum points and we needed the maximum goals. We got three and we will work on whatever we can do against New Zealand in the next game.”

New Zealand U17 coach Danny Hay was relieved with the narrow 2-1 win over Solomon Islands.

“I hope the boys have learnt their lesson about complacency, especially against an agile and technically gifted side like Solomon Islands,” he said.

“I’ve played against Solomon Islands sides a lot so trying to tell our players how technically gifted their players are and how you can’t dive in the box and you’ve got to stay on your feet. I think we dodged a bullet really, getting away with that, because they showed a lot of skill and a lot of composure on the ball.”

Hay said this is the big wake-up call they needed if they are to qualify.

“Hopefully we will learn from that, I have no doubt we will, but obviously we’re very pleased to pick up the three points in the end.”

Solomon Islands coach Marlon Houkarawa who was so vocal throughout the 90 minutes struggled to speak as he recalled the game.

“I was very happy with the boys’ performance against New Zealand. I’ve lost my voice because I was shouting, screaming and giving instructions but I believe they gave them a good game today,” he said.

Sticking to their game-plan and playing to Solomon Islands’ advantages paid off for the side as they dominated with the ball on the ground, and Houkarawa believes the match could have easily gone either way with the performance his team put on.

“I think New Zealand have a strength with their tall players and they take advantage of that and play long balls and make use of the corner kicks but for my team, because we’re short, we played with the ball on the ground and we actually created a lot of chances. We could have scored and we could have beaten them as well but that’s the game.”

They take on Samoa in their final pool match tomorrow.

 



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