SPORTS

Forgotten Hero Returns

Goalkeeper Tevita Koroi was the unsung hero of the Fijian Under-23 side when they beat Vanuatu 4-3 on penalty kicks to book a spot in last year’s Olympic Games in
23 May 2017 11:00
Forgotten Hero Returns
From left: Vodafone national football striker Setareki Hughes and goalkeeper Tevita Koroi at the Fiji FA Academy in Vatuwaqa, Suva on May 22, 2017. The duo are confident of making the final squad to face Solomon Islands at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on Thursday. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

Goalkeeper Tevita Koroi was the unsung hero of the Fijian Under-23 side when they beat Vanuatu 4-3 on penalty kicks to book a spot in last year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, Koroi said it was unfortunate that he could make the team to the Olympic Games.

“I was really disheartened not to be selected into the Rio Olympics squad,” he said.

“It was not easy and at times I would wander whether I will be able to make the national team again or was that going to be the last time.

“This year I decided to give it another try. All along I began to gain confidence and sooner I was expecting it to happen.”

Hailing from Verata, Ucunivanua in Tailevu, Koroi says, he took his chances during the Vodafone Fiji FACT tournament.

Playing for Suva, Koroi was the team’s second choice goalkeeper. It was during their pool opener against Rakiraki when first choice goalkeeper Emori Ragata was red carded. Koroi stepped in and took his chances.

“I’m grateful to the national coach Christope Gamel for recognising my talent and considered me to be part of the national squad. I’m so excited and honoured at the same time to be given the opportunity to play for my country again.”

Koroi said he gave everything during the Fiji FACT tournament and was able to attract Gamel’s attention.

“I believe that it’s normal for any footballer to perform to the best of their ability when they are on national duty.”

Koroi said he is still recovering from a niggling knee injury but should be fine.

“I’ve sustained a couple of injuries from yesterday’s game especially on my knee but I’m coping well. But I’m going to work hard and try to make the final squad for the game against Solomon Islands on Thursday.”

Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands football team are expected to arrive into the country tomorrow.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  grace.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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