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Fiji fall to Estonia in friendly

The wider Fiji squad ahead of the friendly against Estonia on Sunday.

A goal in either half for Estonia against Fiji allowed them to record a 2-0 victory in the first of three international friendlies in Oceania for the 80th ranked side in the world.

Fiji coach Christophe Gamel said he was encouraged by his side’s performance, especially given Roy Krishna and a number of other domestic-based players were ruled out of the fixture for various reasons, however believed they could have done better.

“A lot of people they are happy about this result but I think we have not to be happy when we lose” he said.

“Last night I didn’t sleep a lot because I was really disappointed we could have had a better result, we have worked on that.

“Yes that is a really positive work because I go through so many problems before – 2-0 it is ok but it is not enough. It is not enough because even if Estonia are ranked a lot higher than us a game is still a game…at the end what do you remember?

“It is the result and the result is 2-0. We can be satisfied about the plan and how we played but not the result.”

Fiji struggled to settle comfortably as the match got underway allowing the visitors to impose themselves on the Fijian backline. They held up well to the onslaught from Estonia for the opening ten minutes before finally breaking down in the 13th minute when Henri Anier put the finish on some great work up the left flank.

Around the 20 minute mark Fiji started to assert themselves, stringing together some well organised passes as they started to put pressure on at the other end of the field.

Saula Waqa had the best chances for Fiji the first drawing an error from the Estonian defender for a corner, before he found his way into the six-yard box to threaten but was unable to get off a clean shot.

Efforts from Remueru Tekiate and Samuela Nabenia were only just off-target in the second half and Estonia were also forced to make a goal-line clearance in the 89th minute.

However Fiji were left to rue those missed opportunities as Estonia sealed the victory in the third minute of additional time courtesy of a Martin Miller strike.

Gamel said his side is still new to international football with some of the players having only played six or eight games together, so coming up against a side that has been through the European World Cup qualifying journey was always going to be a big step/

“We have seen the difference between professional and amateur because when we had some occasions unfortunately we didn’t score (and) when they had the one or two occasions they scored,” he said.

“The draw would have been, to be honest, good for us for the achievement of all the work (we put in) but the result is what it is…I hope that in the future we continue to perform consistently because it was a very interesting game.”

Estonia’s next match is against Vanuatu at Port Vila Municipal Stadium on Thursday before they complete their tour of Oceania in New Caledonia on Sunday at Stade Numa Daly.

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