Baby Kulas head coach proud despite loss

Action between New Zealand and Fiji during the OFC U-16 Women’s Championship in Tahiti. Picture: OFC

Despite going down to New Zealand 1-0 in the final of the Oceania Football Federation Under-16 Championship in Tahiti, Baby Kulas head coach Angeline Chua said she was proud of the girl’s efforts.

The Baby Kulas managed to hold the fort against New Zealand for 93 minutes before the defending champions were able to find the back of the Fiji net in the fourth minute of injury time.

“It’s very hard for the girls, and myself even, to take this all in.

“There’s a lot of emotion among the players because this is a historic match for us but we were unable to secure the win,” Chua said.

“Despite the loss, I am very proud of the girls because they did what no other team in the tournament did.”

She said the final will be a match the girls will always remember, and they will use it as a learning experience.

“We will go back and look at all our mistakes and learn from them.”

The goal that broke the hearts of the Baby Kulas came from the boot of New Zealand’s Katie Pugh, after receiving a through ball right in the Kula’s goal box.

New Zealand head coach Leon Birnie gave credit to the Baby Kulas for a gallant effort in containing his side.

“Credit to Fiji, they came out and set up defensively very well which was frustrating for us at times.

“If I’m honest, Fiji really had a shot to steal the win because they played very well,” he said.

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