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Fiji draws first match

Vanuatu took the lead in 11 minutes when striker Kency Tangis received a well through ball from counter-part Daniel Natou and fired a thunder shot past Fijian goalkeeper Ben Aminio.
Despite the early goal Fiji coached under the watchful eyes of renowned Frank Farina continued to play their style of football defending well from behind and building up in front.
A very strong heat at the Port Vila Stadium did not stop both teams from fighting hard as crowds remain tight chanting high showing their passion for football.
Newly appointed Vanuatu coach Moise Poida introduced young players including Bong Kalo in the center mid-field and the likes of Jason Thomas who had just return from Cambodia playing an important role from behind for his country beside Brain Kaltak.
The Frank Farina coached side missed lots of opportunities but good defense from the host denied the Fijian’s to score.
The first half ended with Vanuatu maintaining the lead.
The second half remained tight as both teams continue to field in fresh substitutes.
Vodafone Fiji U20 rep and Rewa midfielder Tevita Warainivalu was substituted with Iosefo Verevou to add more power in front in the 48th minute.
Verevou played excellently putting the pressure on the Vanuatu and could have equalised in the 58th minute but his left foot shot hit the post.
In the injury time Fiji received a free kick just at the edge of the penalty box and hardworking midfielder Avinesh Waran took the shot which was headed in by Abbu Zaid in the 96th minute.
Fiji Football vice president and national team director Tarunesh Reddy said despite the draw we were happy with the performance of the boys.
“Our team played really well with the structure set up by the coach Frank Farina and he was also pleased with their performance, “said Reddy..
“We’re pleased with the performance. The boys played until the final whistle,” he said.
Swamy, midfielder Samuela Kautoga and Rewa marksman Iosefo Verevou were among Fiji’s top performers.
“Sefo (Verevou) created three-four good opportunities for us and we could have won by a few goals. Avinesh was trying free kicks from the opening whistle.”
Reddy said there were no major injuries in camp.
Fijian wonder boy Roy Krishna will be joining the team in their next match and Reddy said It will be a different ball game once we have Roy back in the team.
‘His presence in the squad will be a huge boost for our side and give the boys a bit of confidence going into their next game.
“We have played Vanuatu and we identified our weaknesses and we will go back on the drawing board to iron out our mistakes before our second match on Tuesday, “said Reddy.
The Frank Farina coached national team plays Vanuatu again on Tuesday at 5pm.
Fiji team: Beniamino Mateinaqara, Alvin Singh, Jone Vesikula (Jale Dreloa), Amani Makoe (Ilisoni Logaivou), Ilimotama Jese, Avinesh Suwamy, Tevita Waranivalu (Tony Tuivuna), Samu Kautoga, Samuela Drudru, Abu Zahid, Maciu Dunadamu (Iosefo Verevou)

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