Cook Islands U16 side takes on Fiji in the OFC U16 Women’s Championship in Tahiti. OFC MEDIA/23092103
Cook Islands went down to Fiji 0-4 in the final OFC U16 Women’s Championship Group B match in Tahiti on Wednesday night.
was a frantic pace to the opening stages, with Fiji enjoying a territorial
advantage and Cook Islands looking to exploit any defensive gaps on the
was a moment of magic that broke the deadlock within the first 15 minutes. The
Cook Islands defence failing to clear following a long ball into the box and
when it broke to Sisilia Tuvou Kuladina, she drove her arrowed effort into the
Islands captain Jan Taia tried to offer an immediate response with a set-piece
but her effort curled wide of goalkeeper Rosalain Sarahphina’s right-hand post.
the other end, Sarahphina’s opposite number, Vahine Uini reacted smartly to
deny Fiji captain Kasanita Tabua from close range but couldn’t stop the second
goal coming minutes later, when she failed to get a strong hand to Elesi
Tabunase’s cross and Tabua converted the rebound from a couple of yards out.
Fijians continued to push and two goals in the space of four first-half minutes
all but put the tie beyond the Cook Islands.
Tabunase got her head to a chipped cross from Torika Drosiniwai to beat Uini,
before Kuladina grabbed her second with another effort from distance that
proved too strong for Uini to keep out.
number of half-time changes stifled any chance of the momentum carrying in to
the second period, with Fiji controlling proceedings but without the same
incision as before the break.
came closest to adding to her side’s tally after an outstanding one-two and run
down the right hand side but her effort was parried away by Uini at her near
almost completed her hat-trick with a late free-kick from out on the left but
her curled effort was tipped behind by Uini.
will play Tahiti in the semi-final on Saturday, whilst the Cook Islands will
have the opportunity to finish on a high when they face New Caledonia in the
play-off for 5th place on Sunday.