The Tonga women’s national team kept their dream of winning Pacific Mini Games gold alive overnight after beating Solomon Islands 3-1 at Korman Stadium.
It was the outcome coach Christian Koaneti had been hoping for after a first-up defeat to Fiji dampened their moods on the opening match day.
“It was a must-win this game, given we came here for the gold,” Konaneti said.
“We have a tough one left to go against Vanuatu and we know it’s going to be tough but we haven’t deviated from our aim when we came here.
“We’re hear for the gold and we will keep going.”
International youth goalkeeper turned striker Mele Akolo opened the scoring for Tonga in the 29th minute and followed that up with a second just seven minutes out from the break.
Captain Penateti Feke sealed the result with an impressive strike shortly before the final whistle.
Vanuatu and Fiji played to a goalless draw in the late match leaving the Melanesian rivals locked at the top of the table with one round to go. Both teams have four points from two matches with five goals for and none against. Tonga are a point behind in third place while Solomon Islands are yet to pick up a point.
The final round of matches on Monday will see Tonga go up against Vanuatu while Fiji plays Solomon Islands. Tonga need to beat the home side by at least four goals and hope Fiji come unstuck.
“WE put up a good fight against Fiji but the past three months we worked our hearts out and we’re not leaving without something,” Koaneti finished.