Fiji had to overcome dogged resistance from a stout Cook Islands tonight at J.S.Blatter Playing Field in Apia before scoring a 4-0 win that keeps Juan Carlos Buzzetti’s team in pole position in
But Fiji didn’t have it all their own way after an opening 15 minutes that saw Cook Islands put in some crunching tackles in a performance that looked both well-organised and disciplined. Fiji
laboured to penetrate in the opening chapter of an intriguing match with Cook Islands 4-5-1 formation effective in shackling Osea Vakatalesau and Roy Krishna with man-marker Paul Luiz Van Eijk
detailed to take care of the fleet-footed Labasa striker.
But the deadlock was broken when Roy Krishna was bundled over on the edge of the penalty area. Referee lencie Fred had no hesitation in awarding the spotkick and tournament top goalscrorer Osea
Vakatalesau scored from the penalty spot after 18 minutes.
Matters grew worse for Cook Islands when they were reduced to ten men after Daniel Shepherd was sent off for a second bookable offence on 39 minutes. Fiji’s Taniela Waqa blasted a ferocious free
kick past the Cook Islands wall from 25m giving Cook’s goalkeeper Tony Jamieson no chance.
Cook Islands defended deep inside their own half after the loss of Shepherd and invited Fiji to better their tactical approach. Fiji – already cruising at 2-0 and only having sustained one real
shot at goal by a Cook Islander in the first half – were hardly urgent in going forward but still managed to find gaps with Ba striker Josaia Bukalidi (62’) and Malakai Kainihewe with a bullet
header at Jamieson’s near post in 83 minutes enough to give a satisfying evening for Juan Carlos Buzzetti and his team.
Cook Islands coach Tim Jerks was disappointed with the result and felt the score line flattered Fiji. “I would’ve accepted 2-0 before the match and felt the team played to instructions, they were
disciplined and well-organized, I was very proud of them,” Jerks said.
2008 OFC Nations Cup / FIFA World Cup South Africa Qualifiers
Women’s Olympic Tournament XIII SOUTH PACIFIC GAMES SAMOA 2007
Men Group A
Match day 2 – 27 August 2007 – 15:00
Stade Joseph Sepp BLATTER – Apia – Samoa
FIJI : 1. Simione TAMANISAU ; 4. Samuela VULA ; 8. Pita BALEITOGA ; 9. Joasaia BUKALIDI ; 10. Osea VAKATALESAU ; 12. Peni FINAU ; 13. Taniela WAQA ; 15. Salesh KUMAR ; 16. Malakai
TIWA ; 17. Malakai KAINIHEWE ; 19. Roy KRISHNA.
Coach: Juan Carlos BUZZETTI
Subs not used (remplaçants n’ayant pas joué): 2. Alvin AVINESH ; 3. Waisake SABUTU ; 5. Ronil KUMAR ; 6. Lorima DAU ; 21. Ratu Inosi VATUCICILA ; 11. Thomas VULIVULI ; 14.
Viliame TOMA ; 18. Pita RABO ; 20. Benaminio MATEINAQARA.
Cautions (Cartons jaunes): None.
COOK ISLANDS : 1. Tony JAMIESON ; 2. Paul Luiz VAN EIJK ; 5. Miitamariki JOSEPH ; 6. Steven WILLIS ; 7. Adrian SHEPHERD ; 8. Thomas LE MOUTON ; 10. Eugiene TATUAVA ; 12. Anonga
TISAM ; 15. Paavo MUSTONEN ; 16. Daniel SHEPHERD ; 17. Augusty BARTILLARD.
Coach: Tim JERKS
Subs not used (remplaçants n’ayant pas joué): 3. Edward BROGAN ; 4. John PAREANGA ; 9. Kunda TOM ; 11. Edward DROLLET ; 13. Teariki MATEARIKI ; 14. John Michael QUIJANO ;
18. Nathan TISAM ; 20. Jimmy KATOA (GK).
Cautions (Cartons jaunes): 16. Daniel SHEPHERD (13’, 39’) ; 8. Thomas LE MOUTON (49’).
Referee: Lencie FRED (VAN)
Assistant Referee: Brent BEST (NZL)
Assistant Referee: Nick WALDRON (NZL)