Photo credit: OFC Media Via Phototek

It took 37 minutes and 41 seconds to score the first goal of the third and fourth place playoff at the OFC Futsal Men’s Champions League in New Caledonia. After an absorbing contest UNV FC have beaten Suva FC 2-0 to claim the bronze medal.

The Vanuatu and Fiji club champions couldn’t be separated for much of an extremely even contest. But the Fijian side got into foul trouble and conceded a 10-metre penalty with just two minutes and 44 seconds remaining.

Up stepped UNV FC captain Rene Bahormal whose initial attempt was saved by Kitione Baleloa in the Suva FC goal. But he followed up the rebound and drilled into the left-hand corner of the net. Another penalty soon followed, converted by Yassin Berukilukilu, to close out the victory.

The Fijian champions were boosted by the presence of team captain Rajneel Singh and national captain Filipe Baravilala on the bench. The pair had recovered from injuries incurred earlier in the tournament and missed the final round robin game against AS PTT.

The first half was tense with very few clear-cut chances. UNV had a couple of goal-scoring efforts early on but neither goalkeeper was pressed into making any telling saves until UNV’s Sterry Tor denied Singh two minutes from time before Krishneel Singh blasted over, when he should have scored from close range.

A second yellow card for UNV’s Charlie Vano saw him sent off three minutes into the second half and UNV FC reduced to three players for two minutes. But Suva FC failed to capitalise on their one-man advantage.

UNV FC captain Bahormal had his side’s best chance to take the lead when he fired against the cross bar in the 28th minute. Up the other end Deepal Singh got through on goal but fired straight into the arms of Stelly Tor.

UNV FC: 2 (Rene BAHORMAL 38′, Yassin BERUKILUKILU 39′)
Suva FC: 0

HT: 0-0