Football | SPORTS

Roy Krishna Controls Play, Nalaubu Strikes Twice

The Digicel Fijian football team are on track to qualify from Group B in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Oceania qualifiers after beating New Caledonia 2-1 at the Suheim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, this morning (Fiji time).
19 Mar 2022 10:00
Roy Krishna Controls Play, Nalaubu Strikes Twice
Digicel Fijian football defender Atonio Tuivuna controls the ball against New Caledonia at the Suheim bin Hamada Stadium in Doha, Qatar on March 18, 2022. Photo: OFC Media.

The Digicel Fijian football team are on track to qualify from Group B in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Oceania qualifiers after beating New Caledonia 2-1 at the Suheim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, this morning (Fiji time).

The toast of Fiji’s win was striker Sairusi Nalaubu who scored twice.

Fiji head coach, Flemming Serritslev made positional changes in the line-up as he moved captain, Roy Krishna to midfield.

 

Roy made the difference as he controlled play and fed the speedy Nalaubu with quality balls.

According to Oceania Football Confederations (OFC) Media, while much ofthe pre-match attention focused on the inclusion of Roy in the starting side, just over 24 hours after he arrived in Qatar from India where he plays his club football, it was Nalaubu who stole the show with a goal in each half.

 

What Happened: The ball was moved frequently from end-to-end with plenty of scoring chances created, and while many of them were
misguided, there was no denying Nalaubu’s opportunist goal in the 11th minute.

Intense pressure on New Caledonia skipper Emile Bearune saw Nalaubu emerge with the ball on the edge of the box, before he took a touch to move the keeper before slotting in the opener.

 

Halftime: Fiji 1-1 New Caledonia
Fifteen minutes into the second spell, after the ball spilled out following a corner, Cedrc Decoire launched a bullet from outside the box which flew into the back of the net, only to be called back for offside.

New Caledonia got their equaliser in the 78th minute, with Jordan Wetria escaping his marker to head home a driven cross from substitute Richard Sele.

But with a minute left in regulation time Roy and Nalaubu combined to secure the win. Nalaubu was on hand to produce a powerful header into the top right corner from a free kick delivered by Roy.

 

Comment: Fijian team manager Anushil Kumar said: “It was a tough encounter and hats off to our boys for the win and securing maximum
points.

“Just a lapse of concentration saw us conceding a goal but then our boys never gave up.”

 

Scorers: 
New Caledonia 1 (Jordan Wetria 78′) Fiji 2 (Sairusi Nalaubu 11′, 89′)

 

Line-up
Fiji: 1 Mohammed Alam (GK), 4 Sitiveni Cavuilagi, 5 Remueru Tekiate, 8 Setareki Hughes, 9 Roy Krishna (c), 12 Tevita Waranaivalu 14 Sairusi Nalaubu, 16 Atonio Tuivuna, 18 Lekima Gonerau, 20 Ashnil Raju, 21 Kishan Sami.

Substitutions: 22 Isikeli Sevanaia (GK), 23 Akuila Mateisuva (GK), 2 Peter Ravitisai, 3 Muni Shivam Naidu 6, Inoke Turagalailai, 10 Nabil Begg, 11 Edward Aaron,13 Rahul Naresh, 17 Patrick Joseph, 19 Afraz
Ali.

Coach: Flemming Serritslev

 

New Caledonia: 23 Rocky Nyikeine (GK), 2 Jordan Wetria, 3 Joël Wakanumune, 4 Pierre Kauma, 5 Emile Bearune (c), 8 Pierre Bako, 9
Morgan Mathelon, 11 Titouan Richard, 15 Jean-Luc Decoire, 17 Cédric Decoire, 22 Jean-Brice Wadriako.

Substitutions: 1 Mickael Ulile (GK), 20 Jean-Gilles Hnamuko (GK), 6 Roberto Neoere, 7 Joris Kenon, 10 Richard Sele, 12 Louis Piaa, 13 Cédrick sansot, 14 Christopher Wacalie, 16 Germain Haewegene, 18 Bertrand Kai, 19 Vincent Vakie, 21 William Rokuad. Coach: Dominique Wacaile

 

Other Results:

Cook Islands 0-2 Solomon Islands, New Zealand 1-0 Papua New Guinea, Tahiti v Vanuatu (match was called off due to a number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Vanuatu camp).

 

What’s Next:
The Digicel Fiji football team face competition favourites New Zealand on March 21.

How They Stand - Oceania Mar 19

 

 

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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