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Fiji takes first blood

Fiji well and truly flexed their muscles putting five unanswered goals past Samoa in the first of two international friendly matches to be played at the Fiji Football Association Academy grounds in Ba yesterday.

Fiji are returning to action after a two-month break following their win in the OFC Women’s Nations Cup Qualifier which saw them qualify for the final tournament in New Caledonia next month.

Fiji coach Marika Rodu said the time away from international football showed in the first ten minutes as his side failed to settle, which led to them missing a couple of sitters in front of goal.

However they’d found their feet by the 14th minute when they opened the scoring, before Jotivini Tabua doubled the lead a minute later.

Tabua then scored her brace to give Fiji a 3-0 lead going into the second half, and coming back out Fiji again dropped off the pace and failed to take the chances they were presented with in front of goal.

Fiji U-19 stars Luisa Tamanitoakula and Cema Nasau then stepped up scoring a goal each to seal the 5-0 victory for Fiji.

Rodu was satisfied with the win, and the score, but said there are still areas to work on ahead of the OFC Women’s Nations Cup which is less than a month from kick off.

“We took the game seriously,” he said.

“We tried out our game plan. It’s good that we are able to shape things up before the OFC Women’s Nations Cup.

“Coming back from almost two months break it was important for us to play this game and now all I can say is that we can identify more weaknesses, and physical conditioning is another issue.”

Another area Rodu would like to see improvement is the easy turnovers from his players.

“Overall, although we have scored goals, we still lack in some areas like we gave away the ball when we weren’t supposed to. We need to manage our shape effectively.”

Fiji and Samoa will meet for their second international friendly on Thursday at 3pm, again at the Fiji FA Academy in Ba.

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