IT is a day that he will never forget. Whatever happened far away from home on October 26, 1988 will remain etched in his mind.
There was fear in him and his fellow players following alleged threats that they would be killed if they took the field in the final against the home team.
It was the final of the Melanesian Cup soccer tournament played in the Solomon Islands, which was up against Fiji.
At the centre of the decision-making process on whether to take the field or not was Pita Dau, who was the captain of the Fiji team.
Despite the alleged death threats, the Fiji team played the final and claimed the first-ever Melanesian Cup by defeating the Solomon Islands 3-1.
The win not only made the people of Fiji proud but it was also a very joyous moment for Dau personally, especially being in the first year of his captain's role.
Now 51-years old and an employee of the Fiji Sugar Corporation's Lautoka mill, Dau is focused on spending more time with his seven-year-old son.
He is one of the few sportsmen in the country who have donned the national jumpers on the soccer and rugby fields at the same time during his sporting career.
From Topline in Lautoka, Dau's sporting career started at Ratu Navula Secondary School — representing the school in rugby and soccer. He also represented the Nadi district secondary schools team in both sports in 1979.
"After leaving school, I started playing for the Victory soccer club in Lautoka and in 1981 I was selected for the Lautoka team with my Victory teammates Nasoni Buli and Mitieli Inoke," he said.
"But I didn't get any game and was on the reserve bench throughout so I decided to leave soccer and continue playing rugby.
"In that same year, there was a tournament in Nadi and I went to farewell the soccer boys. I was told to get my soccer boots as there was a shortage of players. I played for Lautoka B and we reached the finals and I was then put in the Lautoka A as a centreback."
Coincidentally, Dau also donned the Lautoka rugby jersey from 1981 and represented the Maroons as a first five-eighth. He concentrated more on rugby until 1987 when he got his break again in soccer.
"After the coup in 1987, soccer games were held on Saturday because of the Sunday ban. I went to watch the Lautoka team training during this time and ended up training with the team on some players' suggestion.
"The first game that Lautoka played on a Saturday was against Rewa and I was sent in as a substitute. I then played the full games against Nadi and Ba and was selected in the Fiji team.
"The first games I played in the Fiji jersey were against New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) in Lautoka and we won the three games."
In 1988, the first-ever Melanesian Cup was being played in the Solomon Islands and Dau was selected by the team management as the captain.
To name a few, he led players such as Freddie Evans, Maretino Nemani, Ravuama Madigi, Vimal Sami and Simon Peters.
"We reached the final of the tournament and we were threatened that we will be killed if we took the field against the home team," he claimed.
"All the players were frightened and we told the Solomons team to take the gold medal and we will take the silver medal, without any team taking the field.
"But after a lot of discussions and as a ploy, we took the field with only 10 players and the opposition team and their fans were surprised as it was the final.
"They were later shocked when we were leading them by 3-0 at half-time. By the time we finished the game, we had all players on the field and some reserves on the bench.
"We won 3-1. It was the first victory for me as the national team captain and it was really a very proud and happy moment. All credit to our coach the late Billy Singh."
After winning the Melanesian Cup, Dau was in the Fiji team that defeated a touring Queensland team in the two matches played.
He was also in the team that defeated New Zealand in Lautoka and then went on to beat Australia 1-0 in Nadi in the World Cup qualifiers. The Fiji team was thrashed in the return leg in Australia.
"It was also a very proud moment to be in the team that defeated Australia because it was the first and only win so far against them in soccer."
While representing the Fiji soccer team, Dau also wore the national rugby jumper from 1989 to 1993 while still playing the two sports for the Lautoka district side.
After the Fiji rugby team's tour to Tonga in 1993, he decided to retire from the two sports because he could not get any free time for himself.
"I called it quits because it was very hard to represent the district and the country in two sports at the same time. There was no time to rest and my fitness was also going down."
Dau said winning the first-ever Melanesian Cup as the captain and defeating Australia for the first time were the two most memorable moments he had on the soccer field.
And apart from the alleged threats in the Solomon Islands, a blunder he made against Nadroga in the IDC final in front of his home crowd in Lautoka are the bad memories.
"I made a mistake against Nadroga in the IDC final and Lautoka lost in front of the home crowd. People thought I took some money and made the blunder.
"But I didn't take any money from anyone. It was a mistake and I can't forget that moment in my soccer career. It's a very bad memory for me."
On discipline during his playing days and as he sees it now, Dau said, "Players were good at that time. We did things together, we always moved as one.
"Players were disciplined then but I see discipline lacking now. We used to get only beer and that too only if we won the district games.
"Some supporters used to give us money if the Lautoka team won. We had district pride then and players used to only play for the district they were born and bred in.
"But it's hard times now and people need money to survive, so that's why players are moving from one district to the other as money matters for survival now."
Dau also believes that the national soccer team should play more international matches to improve Fiji's ranking.
For someone who donned the white jersey for the national soccer and rugby team in the same years, life is now concentrated on his home and work.
Since the death of his wife almost a year ago, Dau has put all the focus on his seven-year-old son with the aim to give him the love of both parents.