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Three teams are vying for one place in Group A

Fiji fans will be hoping their team can progress to the semis (Phototek)

Although top-of-the table Fiji are clearly in the driving seat, Vanuatu and hosts Cook Islands have not given up hopes for claiming group supremacy and a spot in next week’s semifinals ahead of a decisive day in Group C at the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship in Rarotonga.

Meanwhile with Group C winners New Caledonia already in the final four, there will only pride to play for Tonga and Papua New Guinea when they kick off  Match Day 5 on Thursday morning at the CIFA Academy.

Following Papua New Guinea’s 8-0 defeat to New Caledonia on the opening Match Day, Tonga showed far more resistance against Les Cagous, pushing them all the way before going down 4-2 in an entertaining encounter.

Based on those performances the Tongans will fancy their chances to finish their campaign on a high note, but coach Lafaele Moala insists his side has a far bigger objective than a victory over Papua New Guinea.

“We have one game left, and it’s all about working on our weaknesses and to improve. This is just the beginning, they have a lot of room for improvement for the next competition,” the Tonga coach explained.

“The result in our next match is not much of a big deal for us, we just looking forward to carry on our work, connect and find our combinations and produce a better performance, Moala added.

Papua New Guinea coach Rachel Wadunah is also sees  her side’s final match as an opportunity to build for the future, while she admits the Melanesians are keen to sign off from the tournament with a win.

 “We have to work on our weaknesses, maintain our attitude and remain positive against Tonga, we have to win this match, she insisted.

“We will have to work and improve our defending I want my team to be better organised so we don’t conceded those goals.

“I expect the Tongans to try to hold the ball up then put pressure on us by launching it forward, so what we will need to do is to hold possession with our one-two touches and go around them, that’s the way to beat them,” explained the PNG coach.

Following the conclusion of Group C, the attention will quickly turn to Group A, where Fiji have their destiny in their own hands thanks to victories against Solomon Islands and hosts Cook Islands.

A draw would be enough for the Fijians to advance to the knock-out stage, however they can’t afford to be complacent against the second-placed Vanuatu side with still everything to play for.

Going into their showdown with the same goal difference, both sides will be acutely aware that Vanuatu will leapfrog Fiji into the group’s top spot with a victory.

Fiji were made to work hard for their narrow 1-0 win over Cook Islands in their previous match and coach Sunil Kumar is expecting another very tough test from Vanuatu.

“It think will be just as difficult, it will be a close match. I watched Vanuatu and Cook Islands play and I thought it was an equally matched game, so this will be no different,” insisted the Fiji coach.

“We have to approach each game at a time and prepare accordingly. So far it worked and we have two wins but the job is not done yet, we have one more very important match and we have to be well prepared for it.

“We have some weaknesses to work on, we need to improve on our previous performances to make sure we get out of our pool,” Kumar admitted.

Meanwhile his Vanuatu counterpart Jean Robert Yelou is adamant his side is excited and looking forward to the challenge ahead of them.

“We are still in the competition and we know we have no choice, we have to beat Fiji, we need another three points to have a chance to go through to the semifinal,” he said.

“It’s a great challenge, Fiji are always tough. Just like their men’s teams, they’re big and tall, aggressive, and physically very fit, but for us this is a good challenge and also a good experience,” Yelou insisted.

Meanwhile, third-placed Cook Islands will be keeping a close eye on the outcome between Fiji and Vanuatu in order to find out if they still have a chance to snatch top spot when they face Solomon Islands in the finals Group A encounter of the tournament.

The hosts, who conceded a late goal to suffer a heartbreaking 1-nil defeat defeat to Fiji in their previous match, will be hoping for a narrow Vanuatu victory to remain in the running.

If Vanuatu manage to beat the Fijians, the hosts will know exactly how many goals they need to score against Solomon Islands to finish on top of the group with the best goal difference.

However, winning by a big margin in a group with for evenly matched sides won’t be an easy task.

Despite only having an outside chance to secure a semifinal spot, Cook Islands coach Tuka Tisam hasn’t given up hope.

“There’s plenty to play for, the group is still open,” he insisted.

“I believe the girls can do it the next game against the Solomons and we’re going to just keep fighting and fight till the end,” added Tisam.

Meanwhile, Solomon Islands coach  Patrick Miniti is adamant his team will be playing for  pride and will pose a real challenge for the hosts.

“It’s not going to be easy, the Cook Islands are a very good side, but  we want to end the tournament on a high,” he said.

“It’s going to be a big challenge for the girls, because we are coming off two losses, but we will be trying to win the third one. It will be a great test and we are happy to be given the chance to experience what it’s like to be competing in international tournaments,” the Solomon Islands coach explained.

Additional Information

Tonga vs Papua New Guinea
Thursday 5 September (Friday 6 September NZ)
CIFA Academy
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
KO: 10:00

Click on link  for the live stream


Match Officials
Assistant Referee 1 Joana OLAGOA (SOL)

Assistant Referee 2: Jacintha TANGA (VAN
Fourth Official: Shama MAEMAE (SOL)

TONGA – 1. Kalolaine TOPUI (GK), 2. Meleseini TUFUI, 3. Lupe VAEA, 4. Kalolaine TALIAULI, 5. Litea TAUKAPO, 6. Seini TULANGI, 7. Sanilaiti HOLIKA, 8. Florence HAKALO, 9. Lositika FEKE, 10. Ana POLOVILI, 11. Mele KAFA, 12. Mafi PASIKALA, 13. Siunipa TALASINGA, 14. Kalolaine TONGA, 15. Ana LAUTEAU, 16. Finehika FINAU, 17. Mele AKOLO, 18. Carollyne FOTU (GK)
Head Coach: Lafaele MOALA (Tonga)

PAPUA NEW GUINEA – 1. Benadette RUPI (GK), 2. Fidorah NAMUESH, 3. Norma KASIRAY, 4. Susan MANAS, 5. Nicole BEKIO, 6. Jerolyn GALA, 7. Abigail WAGOL, 8. Shalom WAIDA, 9. Asaiso GOSSIE, 10. Ruth GIADA, 11. Kenziro SAMSON, 12. Sylvia JANGIKO, 13. Jasmine VAGO, 14. Christie MANEU, 15. Dephney PARI, 16. Sagude ZALE, 17. Carol ALBERT, 18. Mareerose WADUNAH, 19. Joan UTTIE, 20. Olive NANGAN (GK)
Head Coach: Rachel WADUNAH (Papua New Guinea)

Vanuatu  vs. Solomon Islands
Thursday 5 September (Friday 6 September NZ)
CIFA Academy
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
KO: 13:00

Click on link for the live stream


Match Officials
Referee: Rani PERRY (TAH)

Assistant Referee 1: Heloise SIMONS (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Vaihina TEURA (TAH)
Fourth Official: Anne TAUEFE (TGA)

FIJI – 1. Maria PARR (GK), 2. Lusiana LAGILEVU, 3. Ledua SENISEA, 4. Amelia CEVARIKI, 5. Laniana QEREQERETABUA, 6. Vitalina NAIKORE, 7. Koleta LIKUCULACULA, 8. Aliza HUSSEIN, 9. Asenaca DIRANUVE, 10. Asilika GASAU, 11. Emily ROKOCIRI, 12. Louisa SIMMONS, 13. Kelera RADINICAL, 14. Adi Anasimeci VOLITIKORO, 15. Losana BAINIVALU, 16. Dilaisana DRODROLAGI, 17. Unaisi RALUMU, 18. Fulori SUKULU, 19. Viniana BUKE, 20. Seru VASUITOGA (GK)
Head Coach: Sunil KUMAR (Fiji)

VANUATU – 1. Karine MANVOI GK 2. Melanie TIMATUA, 7. Rita SOLOMON, 8. Bindy ERIKAN, 9. Cynthia NGWELE, 10.  Annie GERE, 11. Celestine KALOPONG, 12. Nettie KALSAU, 13 Daina SINE, 14. Evana TINWAKO, 15. Noeline ERIKAN, 17. Limas ERIKAN, 20. Carlie TARI 21. Rose SIMON GK
Head Coach: Jean Robert YELOU (Vanuatu)

Cook Islands vs FIJ
Thursday 5 September (Friday 6 September NZ)
CIFA Academy
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
KO: 16:00

Click on link for the live stream


Match Officials
Referee: Roger: Lindsey ROBINSON (NZL)

Assistant Referee 1: Telesia TEISINA (TGA)
Assistant Referee 2: OFALOTO LAAKULU (TGA)
Fourth Official: Roger ADAMS (PNG)

COOK ISLANDS – 1. Daimzel RONGOKEA (GK), 2. Merran MUNRO, 3. Teretia TEINAKI, 4. Esther POTORU, 5. Tiamarama TUIVAGA, 6. Tehinnah TATUAVA, 7. Piri MURARE, 8. Jessica WARMINGTON, 9. Kura MOSE, 10. Ngametua TARINGA, 11. Moeroa HARMON, 12. Ngamata MOEKAA, 13. Tarita MAMANU, 14. Eitiare TANGIRERE, 15. Lyric DAVISON, 16. Keana MAAKA, 17. Tepaeru NGAROI, 18. Tineke DE JONG, 20. Alma NGAMETUA
Head Coach: Tuka TISAM (Cook Islands)

SOLOMON ISLANDS – 1. Serah ALPEFOLOCIA (GK), 2. Edith NARI, 3. Debra KALI, 4. Sandra WALE, 5. Magaret SAMANI, 6. Cecilia OMEARO, 7. Madeline ARUKAU, 8. Cathy FO’OSIMAE, 9. Dollin USUA, 10. Dealyn KALI, 11. Jojo LEDI, 12. Florence INCE (GK), 13. Indy RINGO, 14. Mavis WALE, 15. Rose ARATA, 16. Sharoly SAENI, 17. Rachel REX, 18. Alisha DONGA, 19. Mercy WATEOBEA, 20. Melissah MAREI
Head Coach: Patrick MINITI (Solomon Islands)



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