Can’t Draw, Can’t Lose: Rodu

With one match day to go at Churchill Park in Lau­toka today both Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are nipping at Fiji’s heels making Match Day 3 of the OFC Women’s
30 Aug 2018 10:00
Can’t Draw, Can’t Lose: Rodu
The Vodafone Fijian women football team . Photo: OFC

With one match day to go at Churchill Park in Lau­toka today both Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are nipping at Fiji’s heels making Match Day 3 of the OFC Women’s Nations Cup Qualifier a very important one for all involved.

For Fiji the final match is a chance for them to assert their dominance on the Qualifier.

But like each team they have faced so far, Fiji remains wary of the threat that their opponent could pose.

“It’s not the end of the road yet, we have one game left and we’d like to see that we don’t repeat some silly mistakes. We’re optimistic of our chances,” coach Marika Rodu said.

“It’s definitely a win for us. We can’t draw, we can’t lose – and we know American Samoa is a diffi­cult nut to crack.”

Rodu said the biggest thing for his side is to improve their organisa­tion and to be patient.

“We need to be more patient on the ball as we lost possession against Solomon Islands because we forced the game too much,” he said.

“We need to maintain good or­ganisation and at the same time, we can’t afford to be disorganised in the counter attack.”

With a win and a draw under the belt so far, Solomon Islands needs one more victory against Vanuatu to stay in the race for tickets to New Caledonia.

However, after Fiji posted a 5-1 victory over Vanuatu last Friday, Diane Justus’ charges need a win, but they need to win big.

Having only managed to score twice in the competition so far de­spite creating a decent amount of chances it’s not going to be a simple task for Solomon Islands, especial­ly with Vanuatu showing major im­provements between their opening match and the second on Monday.

Taking on Vanuatu will be a dif­ferent game again for her team and Justus believes it is a challenge they are ready to take on.

“It’s going to be a challenge be­cause every game is not the same – from match one to the second match – the final one will be dif­ferent again and I’m not underesti­mating Vanuatu,” she said.

“For us it’s going to be a do-or-die match. We have to get the three points and if we can do that by scoring a lot more to catch up to Fiji, that’s what we will try to do.”

For Vanuatu, the Qualifier has been a bumpy ride so far.

Despite having beaten Fiji in the final of the Pacific Mini Games less than 12 months ago, they were well beaten by a clinical and organised team in their opening match at Churchill Park on Friday.

But despite the discouraging loss, the side rallied together and came back stronger against American Samoa with a performance that showcased some of the individual talent within the squad.

But they’ll need to step it up anoth­er notch to contain the Solomon Is­lands who have shown themselves to be a determined, well-organised side with flair in possession.

Vanuatu coach George Kalo said his side is improving with every match which makes him relatively confident about their chances to­day.

“I think we’ll have to work hard and respect the Solomon team,” he said.

“We’ll have to look at our game, our strategy, and try our best.”

In the closing game of the tourna­ment American Samoa will play their hosts Fiji with the hopes of trying to secure their first win of the competition.

However with Fiji keen to se­cure their place in New Caledonia they’ll be throwing their all at the encounter.


Fiji: 1. Adi TUWAI (GK), 2. Louisa SIMMONS, 3. Jenniffer TAVU­TIA, 4. Mereoni TORA, 5. Laniana QEREQERETABUA, 6. Cema NA­SAU, 7. Koleta LIKUCULACULA, 8. Aliza HUSSEIN, 9. Trina DAVIS, 10. Luisa TAMANITOAKULA, 11. Kotivini TABUA, 12. Dilai­sana DRODROLAGI, 13. Veniana RANADI, 14. Sonali RAO, 15. Se­kola WAQANIDROLA, 16. Sofi DI­YALOWAI, 17. Viniana RIWAI, 18. Annette NAINIMA, 19. Timaima VUNIYAYAWA, 20. Anaseini MAU­CUNA (GK)

Coach : Marika RODU (FIJ)

Additional Information

Fiji vs. American Samoa

Thursday August 30

Churchill Park, Lautoka,

Kick-off: 3pm

Match Officials

Referee: Beth RATTRAY (NZL)

Assistant Referee 1: Regina TEUA (TAH)

Assistant Referee 2: Nikola HO­LIKA (TGA)

Fourth Official: Sione LELENGA (TGA)


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