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NZ and Fiji set to clash

The teams will be playing for the Trans Pacific Cup, meeting in games on 15, 16 and 18 December ahead of the tournament in February, which serves as Oceania’s qualifier for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016.
Between now and Sunday both teams will also play friendly matches against New Caledonian club side FC Ferrand, who recently finished as runners-up in the Coupe de Calédonie knockout competition, while Fiji will take on local club sides Auckland and WaiBop as well.
Fiji veteran Mira Sahib says the tour is about exposing the players to the type of environment they will encounter when they host the OFC Futsal Championship next year.
“We are playing six games, similar to what we will in February, so this is a good way to simulate what we will probably encounter at the OFC Futsal Championship,” Sahib says.
“This is a good opportunity for us to take on New Zealand, who are probably the best team in the region. We have a very young squad and this is a chance to see what we are lacking or what we need to improve on.”
For New Zealand captain Marvin Eakins the series comes at a perfect time to allow him and his teammates to maintain momentum gained from their national series, which wrapped up last Sunday in Auckland.
“It’s not very often you get two weeks of solid futsal in New Zealand and that is what we have in front of us. In terms of match fitness, time with the players and time with our coach Scott Gilligan it is coming at a great time,” Eakins says.
“The main goal is to win the series 3-0 obviously, but we have a lot of players fighting for a spot on the tour of Fiji. It is going to be very hotly contested for spots in the final squad.”
All matches during the series will be played at ASB Stadium in Kohimarama, Auckland.
The 2016 OFC Futsal Championship takes place from 8-13 February at the Vodafone Arena in Suva, Fiji.
The competition will follow a round robin format with the eventual winner securing direct qualification to the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016. The competing teams are Tahiti, Vanuatu, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Fiji and defending champions Solomon Islands.
New Zealand: Elias BILLEH (GK), Marvin EAKINS, Tai BARHAM, Stephen ASHBY-PECKHAM, Kareem OSMAN, Daniel BURNS, Jakub SINKORA, Dylan MANICKUM, Lucas DA SILVA, Josh MARGETTS, Brayden LISSINGTON, Micky MALIVUK, Luc SAKER, David PLOWRIGHT (GK)
Fiji: Suraj CHAND (GK), Amen PRASAD, Praveet SINGH, Mira SAHIB, Reginald SINGH, Vivek NADAN, Vineet NADAN, Akitesh KUMAR, Roderick CHAND, Dhiraj CHAND, Prashant PRASAD, Anish KUMAR, Kevin SINGH, Maciu Rakuita TUILAU (GK).
Match schedule
15 December
8pm: New Zealand v Fiji
16 December
8pm: New Zealand v Fiji
17 December
2.30pm: WaiBop Futsal v Fiji
4.30pm: New Zealand v FC Ferrand
18 December
6pm: Auckland Futsal v FC Ferrand
8pm: New Zealand v Fiji
19 December
6pm: Auckland Futsal v Fiji
8pm: New Zealand v FC Ferrand
20 December
Fiji v FC Ferrand
For more on New Zealand Football visit New Zealand Football
For more on Fiji football visit fijifootball.com.fj


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