Krishna makes most of Brazil experience

Goal scoring has never proved a problem for Fiji’s prolific marksman Roy Krishna but not many strikes would have meant more to him than the one that propelled his nation to a famous 1-0 victory over Play Fair Brazil earlier this month.

Roy Krishna in action against Papua New Guinea at the OFC
Nations Cup. Photo: OFC via Phototek

Having been defeated by the South American side 2-1 three days earlier, the Fijians put in a brave performance that saw Krishna provide the winner in the 31st minute after latching on to a lovely pass from Ilimotama Jese.

Victory over a side that boasts several former Brazilian national team stars such as ex-Barcelona player Giovanni, 1994 FIFA World Cup winner Paulo Sérgio and Mineiro, once on the books of Chelsea, is certainly no mean feat for the Pacific nation.

To put it firmly in perspective, Brazil contains a population base of around 200 million compared to Fiji’s comparatively tiny figure of approximately 850,000.

For Krishna – who has amassed an impressive 47 goals in 81 games for New Zealand champions Waitakere United and 14 in 22 at international level - the two-game series was a standout moment and an exciting learning opportunity.

“Playing against a Brazilian side is one of the highlights of my career,” Krishna says.

“I have learned a lot of new things like how to defend and get into space. The most important thing I learned is that you have to keep talking to your teammates throughout the duration of the game and cannot afford to stand and watch the ball.”

At 25-years-old, Krishna will now be expected to cement a leadership role within his national team, while looking at fulfilling the potential that saw him scoop the OFC U-20 Championship golden boot award in 2007, when he found the net seven times.

The Fijians, who missed out on Stage 3 of Oceania qualifying for the FIFA World Cup due to a disappointing showing at the OFC Nations Cup, will look to build on their latest victory and coach Juan Carlos Buzzetti is already setting his sights on the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea and the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

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Updated On Friday, August 31, 2012