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Could Have Done Better: Rodu

Vodafone Fijian women foot­ball head coach Marika Rodu was happy after win­ning their opening match of the 2018 Oceania Football Confedera­tion Women’s Nations Cup on Mon­day. The team beat Cook
21 Nov 2018 11:00
Could Have Done Better: Rodu
Vodafone Fijian women football team officials and reserves sing the national anthem before the match against Cook Islands on November 19, 2018 Photo: OFC Media

Vodafone Fijian women foot­ball head coach Marika Rodu was happy after win­ning their opening match of the 2018 Oceania Football Confedera­tion Women’s Nations Cup on Mon­day.

The team beat Cook Islands 3-0 at Stade Numa Daly in Noumea, New Caledonia.

Speaking after the match Rodu said it was crucial for the side to re­cord a win in its opening match as it boosts the morale of the players.

“Obviously any team would like to start the tournament with a vic­tory,” he said.

“I think definitely we achieved that objective today but despite the fact we are going away with the three points, we seemed to start off late, maybe pressure took hold of the girls in the beginning.

“We could have done better but not to take away from a good Cook Islands outfit, they came fighting in the beginning.”

Heading into the tournament as the lowest-ranked of the remain­ing teams after coming through the qualifying stage, Fiji kicked off the encounter with purpose settling in early on in the opening 10 minutes against an experienced Cook Is­lands side.

Despite the Fijians early domi­nance, Cook Islands captain Eliza­beth Harmon had a clear sight on goal in the 5thminute with an effort which went off-target.

Luisa Tamanitoakula thought she had opened the scoring when she touched the ball into the net follow­ing a well-worked team move in the 7thminute but it was ruled offside.

The match finally started to open up around the half-hour mark for Fiji as they found more spaces in a tiring Cook Islands defence.

The defining moment arrived in the 34thminute when Cema Nasau put Fiji in front with a close-range finish.

Trina Davis doubled Fiji’s lead two minutes later as she ran onto a through ball and sent the ball over forward rushing Cook Islands keep­er Marjorie Toru, beating her to the punch and helping Fiji to a 2-0 lead.

Cook Islands regrouped in the sec­ond half in search for a goal with a much-improved performance.

However it would be Fiji’s night with Tamanitoakula putting the game to bed in the 57thminute when she headed home a corner delivery

Cook Islands coach Tuka Tisam said he was proud of his team’s sec­ond half performance despite the defeat.

“Second was good I told them we needed to get some more chances to go forward and they executed that but unfortunately we didn’t get a goal, he said.

Meanwhile, Fiji will take on Tonga in their second pool match tomor­row at 2pm.

Edited by Osea Bola

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