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Northern playoffs expose U-20 talent

Fiji Vodafone Northern Zone U-18 league champions Labasa. Image: Shratika Naidu

Labasa’s Arshna Devi, Cynthia Dutt and Selai Nai, as well as Savusavu’s Maria Elder and Asenaca Diranuve have been called by Fiji Football Association to join the national U-20 Women’s team camp after impressive performances in the final of the Fiji Vodafone Northern Zone playoffs last week.

Labasa were the champions of the tournament, taking home the title after a dominant 3-0 win against Savusavu. Dutt opened scoring for her side in the first half before Particia Dera and Adi Selai both found the net in the second half to secure the title.

Labasa coach and former player Sanaila Bera was very pleased with the positive result and the professional performance displayed from a team mainly consisting of high school students.

“The girls played according to the game plan throughout the match,” he said.

Savusavu coach Karalaini Prasad admitted a lack of structure in the backline and poor communication were factors in their loss.

Although Prasad was disappointed with the end result, she was grateful for having the opportunity to display the talent in Savusavu.

“Although we did not win the playoff, we are grateful to have reached the final,” she said.

The girls will join more than 30 other players at the training camp in Ba next month before U-20 women’s coach Saroj Kumar makes his final selection for the 2017 OFC U-20 Women’s Championship in July.

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