Winning start for U19

Fiji's Ratu Dau on attack against Vanuatu. Picture: FIJI FA/OFC

THE Bal Sanju Reddy coached Vodafone Fiji team made a bright start at the Oceania Football Confederation under-19 Championship in Tahiti defeating Vanuatu 3-1 in the opening encounter.

Tavua striker Ratu Dau scored the first goal before half time. Nadi’s Tito Vodowaqa placed in Mohammed Naizal’s low cross ten minutes into the second spell.

Vanuatu pulled one back when Jordy Tasip slotted in a penalty however Kishan Sami sealed Fiji’s victory with a late penalty.

In an interview with OFC media, Reddy said he was very pleased with both the performance and result his boys got in the Group B encounter.

“I think this is a well-deserved victory for us,” he said.

“Especially starting the tournament and getting three points, I think that is the way forward for us.”

Reddy said their approach was to close down any channels Vanuatu might have been looking to exploit and not allow them to play the ball.

“We had compactness in our defence and as soon as we had the ball we tried to play possession,” he said.

“Rather than playing long balls, after looking at all the teams, we tried to play short passes and I think that worked really well for us.”

In another Group B result the Solomon defeated New Caledonia 3-2. Fiji will take on the Solomon Islands tomorrow.

The two top teams from the tournament will qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.

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