Cook U19 football: ‘We have to go hard’

Wednesday September 04, 2019 Written by Published in Soccer
Cook Islands Ngametua Taringa tussels with Louisa Simmons. Shane Wenzlick 19090320 Cook Islands Ngametua Taringa tussels with Louisa Simmons. Shane Wenzlick 19090320

Cook Islands U19 women’s team are ready to get down and dirty after an unexpected loss against Fiji in this year’s Oceania Football Confederation Championship.

Cooks captain Tehinnah Tatuava says the game against Fiji was pretty good. “It was intense and I think we made a mistake letting them concede through.”

Despite the loss, she says she’s proud of the team and their hard work and ultimately pushing through the game.

“We didn’t win but that’s okay,” says Tatuava.

She says they are not worried about getting into the semi-finals. we need to play with pride, says Tatuava.

“We have to go hard on our next game,” Tatuava told her team.

They are hoping Vanuatu can harness Fiji’s fierce players but now the Cook Islands needs to defeat the Solomon Islands if they want to stay move forward in the championship.

It’s been nerve-racking having family in the stands watching and streaming and there’s a lot of pressure from the yelling coaches, she says.

Tatuava says: “We are here to play football so we are going to stay strong.”

Group C Winners New Caledonia have secured their place in the final four of the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship 2019 tournament with a hard-fought win over Tonga.

Meanwhile in Group A, Vanuatu have kept their competition hopes alive with a comfortable win over the Solomon Islands, and will face a crucial final match against group leaders Fiji, who took a huge step towards the knock-out stage by edging past hosts Cook Islands in a close game.

Cook Islands coach Tuka Tisam says he is disappointed in the team’s defeat and now their only hope to make it to the semi-finals depends on Vanuatu taking Fiji out of the championship and getting five more goals than the Solomon Islands in their match this Thursday at 4pm.

While the Cooks players have a two-day rest, they will plan how to pull off the impossible and gain a chance to compete for regional supremacy and a place in next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

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