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Fiji U23 sets new Pacific Games record

Fiji coach Carlos Buzzetti was apologetic after the match, but requested a level of ruthlessness from his side as they chased the 30 goal target set by Tahiti on the opening day.
Labasa marksman Christopher Wasasala, making his international debut with Fiji during this tournament, opened the scoring in the 2nd minute and went on to rack up a tally of nine goals total.
He was bettered only by teammate Tony Tuivuna who scored ten.
Also getting on the board were Iosefo Verevou (5), Napolioni Qasevakatini (4), Garish Prasad (5), Masana Nawakula (2), while Savenaca Nakalevu and Tevita Waranaivalu scored one each.
Buzzetti says to get the record wasn’t an objective, but after Tahiti’s win they needed to make sure they were secure should moving to the next stage come down to goal difference.
“I’m happy for the boys because we’ve done something good for the country, but at the same time I feel very bad about that. We had a benchmark set by Tahiti and as we’re playing them next we didn’t have any other options.
“After the game I apologised and they understand. You still feel bad though. They are young kids, they’re coming for the first time and if it wasn’t for the 30 goals Tahiti scored we would never have done that.”
Federated States of Micronesia coach Stan Foster says this is a learning curve for a side still learning the football trade and yet to earn FIFA Member Association status.
“We just want to improve in our marking ability and just make sure that we fought right to the end. I didn’t want anybody just dropping their heads and walking away from the game without putting an effort in,” Foster says.
“I believe what you get back what you put in to the game, it’s all about the heart and this is why I keep coaching. I don’t care about the score, it’s all about improvement and development in the Micronesian country because we’ve only just really started into football at this level.”
In other action New Caledonia edged past Solomon Islands with a 1-0 victory, the same margin which separated New Zealand from hosts Papua New Guinea, while Tahiti came from behind to secure a 2-1 win over Vanuatu.
Match Stats
Christopher WASASALA 2’, 6’, 27’, 29’, 30’, 36’, 52’, 56’, 65’, Atonio TUIVUNA 4’, 9’, 28’, 43’, 45’, 45’+4’, 70’, 85’, 90’+3’, 90’+6’, Iosefo VEREVOU 8’, 26’, 40’, 45’+2’, 45’+3’, Napolioni QASEVAKATINI 10’, 12’, 24’, 59’ 67’, Garish PRASAD 21’, 63’, 64’, 75’, 80’, Manasa NAWAKULA 79’, 88’, Savenaca NAKALEVU 90’+5’, Tevita WARANAIVALU 47’)

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