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Fiji U19 aims for top Oceania spot

Arin Kumar
Monday, May 19, 2014

NATIONAL under-19 soccer coach Ravinesh Kumar believes his side has been given a perfect opportunity to become the first team to represent the country at a soccer World Cup.

Fiji will compete in Oceania Football Confederation U20 Championship, which serves as the U20 World Cup Oceania qualifiers in a bid to earn a ticket to the U20 World Cup that will be held in New Zealand.

Kumar said his side must grasp the opportunity with both hands and try and qualify for the event.

He said since New Zealand was not part of the qualifiers, his side stood a good chance to qualify for the event.

However, standing in their way are Samoa, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

"As hosts, we have the best chance to qualify for the World Cup," he said.

"But then again, all teams have very high chances of qualifying for the World Cup.

"We will take every team seriously and play every game as a final."

Kumar said the side was working on improving their attack and defence before the competition start on Friday.

"We have the videos of the six matches we played in New Zealand earlier this month thanks to OFC.

"So we will know where we went wrong and then improve on those areas but generally, the whole team would need to step up to a whole new level."

Kumar has called on soccer lovers to be present at the ANZ Stadium to back the boys.

"These players are only 17, 18 and 19 years old and they will need the support of our public.

"The presence of fans at the stadium will give confidence to the players and motivate them to perform better."

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