Ready to fly | Baby Kulas face mammoth task

Digicel Young Kulas U19 head coach, Angeline Chua speaks to her players during the Young Kulas team training session at the Fiji Football Association grounds in Vatuwaqa, Suva on Tuesday, June 27, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

It’s now or never for the Digicel Baby Kulas as the side prepare to take a shot at qualifying for the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in December.

The side will today take on New Zealand in the final of the Oceania Football Confederation Under-16 Women’s Championship.

For the first time, the side managed to reach the final after defeating a determined Tahiti side in the semi-final on Monday.

The Angelin Chua-coached side overcame Tahiti 5-4 after a penalty shoot-out while defending champions NZ overpowered Tonga 7-0 in the other semi-final.

Chua said the side had sacrificed a lot, putting in the hard work and countless training sessions over the past few weeks.

“We had to work very hard to get to this stage.

“This has always been one of the main objectives of the team, and to achieve this is a huge achievement for the team,” Chua said.

“I just want to give the girls credit for the results achieved.”

She said the girls’ never say never attitude on the field during the semi-final was what helped carry them through until the final whistle. ”

They just have that ‘tabu soro’ or ‘never say never’ attitude, and this was evident during the game.”

Tied two-all at the final hooter, the Baby Kulas went into a penalty shootout.

Fiji’s first goal of the match came from the boots of striker Elesi Tabunase in the 23rd minute of the first spell before Tahiti managed to slot in an equaliser before heading into half time.

Co-captain Seruwaia Laulaba came in clutch for the Baby Kulas when she managed to find the back of the Tahiti net in the 11th minute of the second spell.

However, it wasn’t long before Tahiti was able to equalise once again before both sides headed into the penalty shootout.

Laulaba was named Player of the Match and will be one of the players to watch for in the final against New Zealand. The Fijian side will face New Zealand at 4.45pm today.

More Stories