The Cook Islands team battled it out against Fiji in one of the most anticipated matches of this year’s Oceania Football Confederation championship which saw Fiji take victory with 1 to 0.
Cook Islands coach Tuka Tisam said it would be a difficult task to defeat Fiji and there came a lot of expectations for the Cooks team as they kicked off to face the physically gifted Fijian players in the third and final match of the day.
In their opening game, despite dominating most of their opening encounter against Vanuatu, the Cooks team had left it to the dying minutes to secure a vital 1-0 victory. That was just the first match.
Tisam said he would need a solid approach to tackle Fiji’s solid players who earlier defeated the Solomon Islands 3 to 1 in the opening.
The Fijian team had the Cooks spread wide across the field, legs kicking furiously back and forth to gain possession of the ball, but as time carried on at half time, neither team was able to score.
Walking off the field puffed at half-time, the Cooks team desperately needed a win.
The teams both felt the pressure as the crowd sang in support cheering every time each side got close to a goal. After half-time, Fiji scored the first goal and took the lead.
A win for either side would go a long way to secure Group A supremacy and Tisam had urged his team take on the challenge. A loss would put them in do-or-die territory.
The Cooks played hard in their close match against Fiji.
Yesterday in the first match of day three New Caledonia challenged Tonga with a 4-2 scoreline in a balanced game, and Vanuatu defeated Solomon Islands 4- 0 in the second match.
Tahiti v NZ
Am Samoa v Samoa