Fiji Kulas defeated New Caledonia 2-1 in the opening match of the FIFA women’s International Friendlies at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva today.
The Angeline Chua coached home team started off on a dismal note with their defensive shape going for the toss.
New Caledonia’s Claire Kaemo capitalised on it by pouncing upon abundant space near the opposition box in the seventh minute. However, her shot left a lot to be desired and didn’t trouble Fijian goalkeeper Mereseini Waqali at all.
Gilles Garcia’s New Caledonia struck back swiftly by optimising the sheer pace of their frontline of Lorenza Hnamano and Madeleine Jeine.
They began building up attacks gradually and found a fantastic opportunity in front of a Fijian defence that had gone haywire briefly.
Laetita Leme opted to shoot from a distance but the ball went way off target.
Fiji’s offensive endeavours often required more composure, which was testified by striker Cema Nasau’s shot at goal in the 30th minute.
The midfielder sighted space near the New Caledonia box but shot with less power than required to hand Serra Alikie a convenient save.
The home team began gaining gradual control over the proceedings in the final half hour though.
New Caledonia’s Edsy Matao broke the deadlock in the 35th minute with a powerful strike after finding keeper Waqali off her guard.
Minutes before the break, the prolific duo of Sofi Diyalowai and Aliza Hussein combined together to rescue Fiji getting a loose ball and squaring a pass to striker Narieta Leba calmly slotting behind New Caledonia Alikie.
Both teams headed to the break locked 1-1.
The hosts came out firing in the second spell with Australia based midfielder Vanisha Kumar taking the field to create more impact to the side.
Leba snatched the second and winner of the match after she perfectly collected a through pass from Jotivini Tabua and found the back of the net to seal.
New Caledonia tried fighting in the match back looking for an equaliser win but this time Waqali stood alert and kept denying the visitors.