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U-23 squad end tour on high

Striker Rusiate Matarerega scored the lone goal in the 60th minute of the game after neatly bringing down a long ball from goalkeeper Tevita Koroi.
Coach Frank Farina says it was a much improved performance from a side that has taken a lot away from their sejourn in Spain.
“The players gave their best shot and finished the tour on a high note and that shows they have learned a lot,” Farina shares.
He said a loss of concentration and some lacking in finishing meant the margin was just one goal, when he believes it could have been more.
“I have to work a lot on the finishing aspect of the team as we have good strikers but they need more game time and training,” he says.
“We made less mistakes than in previous games, kept possession and structure and the result is there to see.”
The team lost their opening match of the tour 2-0 against Levante United before earning two consecutive draws against Hercules FC and CF Cracks respectively.
Their fourth match was a 3-0 loss to Villarreal before they went down 4-1 against Castellon FC.
Captain Alvin Singh says the tour was a great for the players to be immersed in a culture where football has such a large role.
“It was a totally different experience,” he says.
“We went there and played our hearts out and we wanted to show our coaching staff that we wanted to make the cut for the Rio Olympics in August.
“It’s been good exposure for the team and it was all about learning for me personally.”
The side is already looking ahead to their next challenge with Fiji FA vice-president and national team director Tarunesh Reddy hoping to take the side to Brazil ahead of their Rio 2016 challenge.
“We are planning a tour of Brazil most probably in May,” Reddy says.
“We played six matches in Spain, won one, drew two and lost three but the outcome was secondary.
“Preparing for the Rio Olympics is not an easy task. We are investing a lot in our preparations just as we did for our national U-20 team.”
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