Fiji thrashes Tonga in OFC futal opener
3 October, 2023, 3:10 pm
FIJI got off to the perfect start in their OFC Futsal Nations Cup 2023 campaign with an impressive 9-0 victory over Tonga in Auckland.
In what was a physical and intense encounter, Fiji got off to the perfect start inside the first nine minutes when Ramzan Khan fired an effort from distance past Tonga goalkeeper Semisi Otukolo to give his side the lead.
Tonga almost found a way to level matters minutes after going behind but Hemaloto Polovili’s effort was well held by Fiji ‘keeper Kitione Baleloa.
Two goals in the final eight minutes of the first-half put the Fijians in a strong position that would prove to be insurmountable. First Merrill Nand showed great skill to turn his man and then firing into the roof of the net, before Bruce Hughes found himself one-on-one with the ‘keeper and slotted away well.
A pair of goals from captain Filipe Baravilala inside the opening minutes of the second-half put his side in cruise control, with Bruce Hughes chipping in with another to make it 6-0.
Rajneel Singh made it seven in the same minute as Hughes’ second before Baravilala completed with hat-trick with two minutes remaining.
Merrill Nand grabbed his second and Fiji’s ninth with seconds left on the clock to cap off a perfect start to the tournament for Fiji.