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Winning start for Fiji

Ravinesh Kumar, the Fiji U20 coach says he is pleased to complete the first game with three crucial points. #“The first game in any tournament is always the toughest. Regardless of whom you face the team needs to settle but end of the day we are happy with the three points,” Kumar said. #Fiji started the match strong and it only took them just 15 minutes to score the opening goal of the match. Samuela Nabenia sent a perfect cross to Saula Waqa who nailed the opener. #Nine minutes later skipper Jale Dreloa doubled the lead following a blunder by the American Samoa defence. #Perfect cross saw Antonio Tuivuna head the third goal on the half on hour mark and Nabenia nailed the fourth in added time. #At the half time break the match was tagged as a one-sided affair but American Samoa came strong in the second half to deny Fiji a fifth goal. #The home-side found numerous opportunities to extend the lead but was not able to. #Coach Kumar says the side failed to utlise their chances in the second spell. #“The boys rushed in the second half. They had to have patience in front of goal and in that pressure they seem to panic,” Kumar said. #Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel says New Caledonia is now their target. #“This game is history now as it is over. We have got the three points and whatever we could from this match,” Patel said. #“We now need to forget about this game and focus on New Caledonia whom we face on Sunday. A positive result in that game will no doubt be a boost to our campaign,” he added. #American Samoa coach Rupeni Luvu was not disappointed with the result and said holding a team like Fiji in the second half was a good achievement for his players.#”It was a tough match and we expected Fiji to come out firing. We could not settle early in the game and this led to our downfall as Fiji scored goals after capitalising on our mistakes.”#”Things really changed for us in the second half as we lifted our game and played good football. We defended very well and this frustrated the Fijians. The goalkeeper commanded the defence very well and I salute my players for their efforts.”#”We will walk away with all the positives from this match and will prepare well for our next match. We hope to improve our performance and pick up a positive result in the next match.”#Fiji plays New Caledonia at 7.30pm on Sunday while American Samoa will face PNG at 5pm.# Fiji FA MEDIA

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