Avatiu senior women were named winners of the 2023 football championship – the first time they have claimed this title since women’s football began in Cook Islands in 1999. CIFA MEDIA/23111416
In a rescheduled round 15 match between Avatiu FC and Matavera-Ngatangiia FC this Monday, the women’s teams faced off in a fight for the esteemed Islander Hotel Women's Championship title. The game, which was initially planned for Thursday, had to be brought forward due to the national women’s team leaving for Solomon Islands to participate in the Pacific Games.
The anticipation was high as Avatiu stood at
the top of the points table for the Rarotonga football season and were poised
for victory. For their tireless work and determination throughout the season,
the Avatiu senior women were named winners of the 2023 championship – the first
time they have claimed this title since women’s football began in Cook Islands
This notable victory has earned them a spot at
the prestigious OFC Women's Champions League in 2024, where they will represent
their country on an international stage.
Their coach and club president, Terry Piri,
expressed heartfelt joy and pride for his players’ accomplishments. Piri
reaffirmed his commitment to supporting their growth and honing their skills in
preparation for next year's highly competitive event.
As expected, both teams exhibited unwavering
determination during Monday’s game. The first half saw both sides pushing
against each other as they vied for possession and control of their opponent’s
territory. The intense struggle resulted in a stalemate, with neither team
securing a goal before halftime.
A rejuvenated Avatiu FC took charge of the
second half, seizing opportunities through impressive teamwork. Their
persistence finally paid off just five minutes into the second half as they
celebrated scoring their first goal against Matavera-Ngatangiia FC. Resilient
to break under pressure and hungry for more, they continued dominating
possession to score another goal at the 70th-minute mark.
Showing immense grit and character,
Matavera-Ngatangiia's women team refused to cower. They valiantly fought till
the final whistle. Avatiu ultimately prevailed with 2-0 win. With this historic
win, not only did they receive the coveted Islander Hotel Women's Championship
award, but they also solidified their place in Cook Islands football history.