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Vanuatu Men win gold medal in football

For the first time in Vanuatu football history Vanuatu has the won gold medal in the South Pacific Mini Games, in the Finals today with Solomon Islands at Port Vila Stadium. Over thousand people were at the stadium to cheer for team Vanuatu, Men, Women, youth and Children. During t the first half of the Match Bong Kalo made a good set up for Kency Tangis and he score in the25th minute, in 2 minutes Benjiman Totori Scored the first point for Solomon Islands in 27 minutes, equalizing. Elkington Molivakarua score second goals for Vanuatu in the 41st minute and Team Captain Hendry Fa’arodo score second goals for Solomon Islands in 45 minutes. Team Vanuatu played a strong game against Solomon Islands, in the second half after Bong Kalo made the team’s hat trick scoring the 3rd goal for Vanuatu. Speaking to one of the Vanuatu Players, Kency Tangis said he is very happy to score the first Point for team Vanuatu. ‘’ I was so excited to score first point, it is the open gateway to win a gold. This point goes especially to my families who came and support me today,” he said. ‘’ The performance of the boys is good but they just need to improve small mistakes, I was so proud because the majority of the boys are young Players and they did well, and...

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BRONZE OR SILVER?

Strong support from the two teams’ supporters gave more courage to the players, of teams Fiji and New Caledonia 4 points to 1. Saula Waqa opened the scoring in the favor of Fiji, supported by the 3 other points that other team members scored. New Caledonia tried their best to equalize the score but somehow managed to score only 1 point. The game was very tough between the two teams, which as the Fiji coach said, “we all aim for goal”. “As for our highest aim, we aim to secure a gold medal, somehow our silly performance with the Vanuatu team led us to this stage but waiting for the last game if Vanuatu defeats Fiji then we will secure the silver but if Vanuatu loses then we will remain in bronze, but most, only God knows, he is leading,” says the Fiji coach. He continued saying “Fiji hasn’t received any medals in past games, but we’re still happy with the position that we secure.”   Story by Tony. Tahaun Photos by Rio....

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Avinesh chases football dream

FIJIAN football referee Avinesh Narayan has been working hard to fulfil his dream of officiating at a FIFA World Cup in future. Narayan, 36, is one of the top assistant referees in Fiji. He is officiating at the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu. “I get a lot of opportunities since we have only two FIFA referees —— me and Salesh Chand —— and we have a number of appointments,” he said. “Fiji Football Association has been very supportive and it helps me get better in my football career. “I officiated during the Vanuatu vs Estonia match and it was a good experience. I hope to reach the FIFA World Cup.” Narayan, who is from Ba, said refereeing was a challenging career where the referees are subjected to criticism. “The performance is very important to get to a higher place. I left work because of refereeing. I resigned to concentrate on refereeing,” he said. “Some days we have to leave our families behind and go to another country where you spend about 20 days and it is not easy for anyone to leave your family behind. “If you want to be a good referee, you have to sacrifice a lot. I got so many help from the referees’ director Rakesh Varman and Fiji FA is also helping me.” Story and photo by Fiji...

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Fiji wins, Gamel unhappy

NATIONAL football coach Christophe Gamel is an angry man despite Fiji’s win over Tonga 4-0 yesterday in the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu. In a no-nonsense tone at Port Vila Stadium in Port Vila after the win, Gamel claimed some players did not play to his expectation. He named two Olympians claiming they did not play well. “I am not satisfied with the performance because we saw two types of play. One in the first half and one in the second half,” Gamel said. “I put in Setareki Hughes and Christopher Wasasala in the match, but they made the team unbalanced. They do not deserve to represent the national team. Wasasala was at zero today (yesterday) and he did not perform with Hughes. “No one is above the national team and I will take action against them. If you do not play well, you will be forgotten very quickly.” Fiji had a convincing 4-0 win over Tonga, however, Fiji missed a number of opportunities in the match with strikers Saula Waqa and Epeli Saukuru missing a number of scoring opportunities. Fiji led 3-0 at half-time with goals from Saula Waqa through a header in the seventh minute before Napolioni Qasevakatini extended Fiji’s lead from a spot kick in the 14th minute. Nippy utility Dave Radrigai also got on the score sheet with Waqa scoring his second in the 84th...

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Rabici sets his goals

FIJI football defender Rupeni Rabici is proving to be a future star . He is being groomed by coach Christophe Gamel. He made his international debut for Fiji against Estonia during the FIFA friendly match last month. Rabici, 21, is the nephew of former Fiji and Ba player Arjun Pillay and the brother of former Tavua and Nadi striker, Jone Salauneune. “I am giving my best for the country. I am just a caretaker of the jersey before I hand it over to someone else in the future,” he said. “I tried very hard to be in the national team after being dropped in a number of times for my district Nadi. I thank coach Christophe for having the trust in me and to give me the opportunity to play for the national team. “My uncle Arjun Pillay and my brother helped me to be a good footballer.” It is not easy for many to get the opportunity to play for the national team and Rabici considers himself very fortunate to represent Fiji “I played three tournaments for Nadi — the Fiji FACT, Battle of the Giants and Inter-District Championship,” he said. “I was dropped from the district squad, but I never lost hope and continued to work hard hard,” he said while relaxing at the team’s camp in Port Vila, Vanuatu. “It was a proud moment for me...

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Vanuatu, Fiji draw

FIJI stands slim chances to win a gold medal in the football competition of the 2017 Pacific Mini Games after the side was held to a 1-all draw by Vanuatu in the 2017 Pacific Mini Games at Port Vila Stadium in Vanuatu yesterday. Coach Chrishtophe Gamel said they applied the plan and were almost victorious. “I am angry because we made a silly mistake and most of all our senior players made the mistake,” he said after the match. “The gold medal might have flown away from us but we are still in the running as there are other teams who are strong contenders. We needed a victory against Vanuatu and now we are hanging in the middle. “It has been a long time since we’ve conceded a goal like that and it was a stupid and silly mistake. We now have to concentrate against Tonga, but I am sure they will give us trouble which I don’t want in the match.” Midfielder Christopher Wasasala silenced the home crowd with a superb goal in the 30th minute of the match after being set up in the midfield. The former Labasa and Lautoka midfielder worked hard in the midfield and he was rewarded with the opportunity when he scored past Vanuatu goal keeper Chikau Mansale. Wasasala was substituted by coach Gamel after he was carried off the field on stretcher...

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VANUATU AND FIJI THRILL SELLOUT CROWD WITH 1-1 DRAW

Vanuatu and Fiji drew 1-1 in Saturday’s highly anticipated men’s football clash, keeping both sides’ medal hopes alive with two rounds remaining to determine the standings. The match at the Port Vila Stadium showed how strong these two teams are. In the opening stages, both Fiji and Vanuatu struggled to score first, but it was Fiji’s Christopher Wasasala who made the breakthrough in the 30th minute, giving Fiji a 1-0 lead. Despite being down at half time and for most of the second half, Vanuatu made a late comeback and equalized through striker Azariah Soromon in the 72nd minute....

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Fiji set for big game

It is a new era for the Fiji women’s football team at the 2017 Pacific Mini Games after holding Vanuatu to a nil-all draw on Thursday night. The side showed class and determination playing against a Vanuatu team backed up by their loyal fans. It was the best performance from Marika Rodu’s girls compared with the past 10 years. The players showed a lot of skill and played their hearts out. “It is all about being competitive at this level of football and the girls showed character in the match,” Rodu said after the game. “We are just one game away from the gold medal play-off. “Vanuatu had been preparing for some time now while for us we had been in camp for only 20 days and looking at that we have come a long way in terms of women’s football.” Fiji remained unbeaten in the competition after two wins including the first one against Tonga on Monday. The players deserve all the credit after putting up a gallant performance. The team also made number of attempts at the Vanuatu goalmouth. Vanuatu footballers had been preparing for some time in China for the Pacific Mini Games. “The girls are young and they have a long way to go in future,”he added. “I am trying to work on the weaknessess and improve on those points. “The girls are showing a...

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Tongan golden dream alive

Tonga is refusing to give up hope of winning the gold medal in women’s football at the Pacific Mini Games. The team rebounded from a first up defeat to Fiji to outclassing Solomon Islands 3-1 at Korman Stadium on Thursday. Mele Akolo opened the scoring in the 29th minute and scored again seven minutes into the second half. Captain and striker Penateti Feke sealed the result with an impressive strike shortly before full-time. Coach Tiane Koaneti said his players were hungry for goals and attacked all game. “It was a must-win this game, given we came here for the gold,” Koaneti 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 from Tonga. “We’re here for the gold and we will keep going.” Vanuatu and Fiji played out a goal-less draw in the late match which 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 back in third place with a goal difference of minus three, while Solomon Islands are yet to pick up a point. Monday’s final round matches pits Vanuatu against Tonga and Fiji up against Solomon Islands, with the Tongans needing...

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Women’s football wows the crowd despite Vanuatu’s scoreless draw

A double-header of women’s football attracted a large and vocal crowd to Korman Stadium on Thursday evening. The showpiece of the night was a tough match between front-runners Vanuatu and Fiji that ended 0-0. Vanuatu had been looking to build on their 5-0 opening win over Solomon Islands, while Fiji had recorded the same score over Tonga in their opener. However this match proved a far closer contest. Both teams were very strong and had several chances. The crowd cheered wildly with Fiji, as well as the home side, drawing strong support. In the earlier match, Tonga defeated Solomon Islands 3-1 to the delight of Tonga’s excitable fans. Mele Akolo opened the scoring for Tonga in the 29th minute before Solomon Islands hit back through Elise Kwoaetolo to level matters at half time. Akolo netted a second after the break to give Tonga a 2-1 lead, and captain Penateti Feke made it 3-1 with a late goal. Tonga’s coach TianeKoaneti said: “We really needed a win today, just to keep us on the run. Of course we course put up a good fight out there, and it paid off at the end of the day”. In the final games to decide the medal match standings, Tonga face Vanuatu on Monday evening at Korman, while Fiji take on Solomon Islands on Monday afternoon at Port Vila Stadium. Story by Ellien...

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Vanuatu and Fiji drew in thriller

Under the flood lights of the new Korman Stadium, host country Vanuatu took on Melanesian neighbour Fiji. Both teams were facing each other on the back of previous wins – Vanuatu having beaten Solomon Islands while Fiji defeated Tonga by the same score line. With better average height advantage Fiji started the match strongly, however, it was Vanuatu that came close on the 3rd minute when a free kick at the edge of 25 yard box hit the cross bar. As the first half were on, Vanuatu pressed Fiji and took some shots at the Fiji goal line. At the breather both teams remained nil all. In the second half Fiji started strongly but as the second spell went on, Vanuatu came strongly to break the deadlock. Both had chances but the minutes flew by, and as the Referee blew the final whistle, Vanuatu 0, and Fiji 0. By Kathie Simon Photo by Malco...

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