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U19 lose again

Emoni Narawa
Thursday, May 08, 2014

THE touring Vodafone Fiji under-19 soccer side lost its second match to New Zealand Junior All Whites 1-4 at North Harbour stadium on Tuesday.

Last year's Oceania Football Confederation U17 Golden Boot winner Monty Patterson scored a double to open the home team's account in the opening 30 minutes.

Fiji headed into the interval with a man down following Narendra Rao's red card for a reckless tackle three minutes before halftime.

Antonio Tuivuna scored Fiji's goal to narrow the deficit 1-2.

However, playing with a man down was too much for the young Fijians as New Zealand scored two goals to replacements Andrew Blake and Tomislav Trbuhovic.

New Zealand U20 coach Darren Bazeley was not content with the overall performance.

"I think it was a not so good performance from us," stated the OFC website.

"I think Fiji worked really hard and they were very organised defensively and made it very hard for us," Bazeley added.

"They compacted the defence and got numbers behind the ball and I didn't think we were good enough in our possession or our decision-making to break them down.

"To be honest, I'm a little disappointed in our performance tonight, we need to play better, we need to be better because we're going to come up against better teams.

"But credit to Fiji, they made it hard for us and did frustrate us, but it just shows our boys that they've got a lot of work to do to get to the next level."

Fiji's official Ravinesh Kumar said it was a good game as his side showed some improvements from Sunday, and managed to score against their more fancied, more experienced opponents.

"They played with ten men and did really well," he said.

"They kept and maintained the 2-1 scoreline and we were about to capitalise but unfortunately we gave away simple balls and they were able to add two more."

Fiji will host the OFC U20 Championship in Suva later this month.

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