August 08, 2016
Captain Roy Krishna scored Fiji’s first Olympic goal as the football minnows went down fighting 5-1 against defending champions Mexico in Salvador, Brazil today.
The Fijians stunned the highly fancied and superior opponents in the 11th minute of play when Krishna headed in their opening goal beautifully from a deep Iosefo Verevou cross.
Krishna perfectly timed his jump to head the ball over an oncoming Mexican goalkeeper after beating a defender to position his body nicely.
The goal ignited confidence and determination in the Fijian players as they tried to match the Mexicans by displaying some constructive football both in attack and defence.
Iosefo Verevou partnered well with Krishna upfront and the two changes to the starting lineup which saw Savenaca Nakalevu in midfield and Anish Khem in defence worked well for the Frank Farina coached side as they headed to the break with a 1-0 lead, a score-line which gave shivers to the Mexican coaching panel.
Mexico came out firing in the second half and managed to draw the scores level in the 48th minute through Erick Gabriel Gutierrez Galaviz who slammed the ball into the bottom right corner giving diving goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau no chance at all.
Galaviz struck again in the 56th minute and 58th minute to increase Mexico’s lead by 3-1.
And two further goals in the 67th and 73rd minute by Carlos Salcedo and Oribe Peralta sealed the win for Mexico.
Fiji toiled hard for a second goal but efforts by Nickel Chand, replacement Samuela Nabenia and hardworking Captain Krishna were well covered by the Mexican goalkeeper.
Fiji ends its campaign in the Olympics on Thursday morning against Germany.
The match kicks off at 7am (Fiji Time).
Fiji- Simione Tamanisau, Alvin Singh, Jale Dreloa, Antonio Tuivuna (Filipe Baravilala), Anish Khem, Praneel Naidu, Savenaca Nakalevu (Tevita Waranaivalu), Nickel Chand, Setareki Hughes (Samuela Nabenia), Iosefo Verevou, Roy Krishna (C).
By Reginald Chandar
Photo: FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images