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Player Ratings: Roy Krishna To The Rescue

Although Fiji failed to create much going forward, the Siberia, Labasa, native proved the difference against the physical Mauritians.
25 Mar 2019 10:05
Player Ratings: Roy Krishna To The Rescue
Roy Krishna with his wife Naziah Ali at Nadi International Airport earlierthis week. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Roy Krishna believes his gamble in the box paid off after scoring in the 58th minute to earn the Vodafone Fijian football teal a narrow 1-0 win against Mauritius at Churchill Park, Lautoka yesterday.

The A-League star pounced on a brilliant Malakai Rakula cross from the right to ensure Fiji closed the three-nations FIFA international friendly series without a loss.

Although Fiji failed to create much going forward, the Siberia, Labasa, native proved the difference against the physical Mauritians.

“As a striker, you need to gamble in the box,” Krishna said.

“I tried to read the goalkeeper’s mind and it was a lucky touch to put it in,” he said.

“We are happy with the win as it is not easy for the coaching staff to get a team in three weeks to gel.”

Krishna said the visitors became frustrated with how the Fijians were moving the ball.

Fiji had earlier beaten Francophone neighbours New Caledonia 3-0 in Suva last Monday.

What happened:

Fiji struggled to find a rhythm in the first half, as strikers Samuela Drudru and Rusiate Matereraga found it difficult to link up with Krishna.

Both teams were scoreless at the breather.

Rakula’s introduction in the second-half gave an extra edge to Fiji’s attack, his pinpoint cross eventually leading to the decisive goal.

In the 83rd minute, the visitors suffered a setback when referee Joel Hopken of Vanuatu red carded Adrien Botlar for a studs up tackle on Rakula.

PLAYER RATINGS by Sheldon Chanel (1-10; 10=best):

GK Beniamino Mateinaqara, 6 –

Was hardly tested and nearly made a huge error while rushing out to head the ball instead of letting his defenders take care of it.

DF Kavaia Rawaqa, 6 –

A good performance by the Lautoka defender, though he could have pushed forward a little more.

DF Kolinio Sivoki, 7 –

Added solid- ity at the back and was strong in the air. Should be kept off free kick duties though.

DF Nicholas Prasad, 6:

Continues to impress since his debut last week. Tougher challenges lie ahead but Prasad has shown he deserves to be in the team.

DF Kishan Sami, 8:

One of Fiji’s better players. Comfortable on the ball as always, and always aware while defending. He sealed off Fiji’s right side.

MF Zibraaz Sahib, 8:

The Lautoka midfielder continues to shine on the big stage. Showed grit and determination to win the ball in midfield and protected the backline well. One of the country’s best defensive midfielders at the moment.

MF Ame Votoniu, 5:

Played out of position in midfield. Not at all comfortable on the ball and did not create much from a position he is expected to. Defended well.

MF Dave Radrigai, 6:

Pushed out wide to accommodate a three-man strike force. Spent most of his time helping out in defence.

FW Samuela Drudru, 5:

Didn’t really do much except run a lot and commit the odd foul.

FW Rusiate Matererega, 6:

Did well to press the Mauritian defence and enjoyed the physical battle. Could have offered more going forward.

FW Roy Krishna, 9:

A leader of men. Stayed cool to score the crucial goal and was vocal through- out. Him staying fit will be crucial to Fiji’s chances at the July Pacific Games in Samoa.

Substitutes

MF Malakai Rakula, 8 –

Fiji’s attack looked transformed with his introduction in the second half. Provided the assist for the winning goal.

MF Patrick Joseph, N/A –

Came in for Sahib. Provided defensive cover.

FW Meli Codro, N/A – Brought on late to kill time.

Edited by Sheldon Chanel

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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