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Fiji thumps Tonga, registers first win

The Jerry Sam coached Fiji side registered its first OFC Beach Soccer Nations Cup win after thumping Tonga 21-3 in their second match in Papeete, Tahiti on Thursday.

The Fijians bounced back strongly from its opening day 6-3 defeat to Pacific Beach Soccer giants, the Solomon Islands on Tuesday.

Just a minute into the match, Lami futsal star Ravneel Pal opened the account for Fiji as Tongan keeper Justin Toetu’u failed to control a cross from Palm who was on hand to nod home.

National and Rewa midfielder Tevita Waranaivalu doubled Fiji’s lead in the 5th minute and before Suva striker Bruce Hughes knocked in the third from a free-kick two minutes later.

Tonga failed to counter Fiji in all aspects of the game as a result a sweeping cross from Suva futsal rep Rajneel Singh was finished off by Suva striker Rusiate Matarerega.

Waranaivalu and Hughes grabbed their second goal before Delta Tigers defender Gabriele Matanisiga rounded out the first stanza scoring for an impressive 7-0 lead.

The onslaught continued early in the second period when Matanisiga had his second with a blistering strike into the roof of the net and completed his hat-trick a couple of minutes later.

Waranaivalu had his hat trick after 17 minutes when his long-range effort bobbled over the despairing Lemeki Taufa.

The Tongans fought hard and were rewarded when Justin Toetu’u, who had started in goal in the 19th minute.

However, further foals from Merrill Nand, Madhwan Goundar Matarerega and Singh extended the lead for Fiji while Sione Tutone added a second goal for Tonga just before the end of the second period.

Matanisiga had his fourth in the opening minute of the final period before Waranaivalu pulled his fourth a minute later.

The goals kept coming as the Tongan defence looked tired and Matanisiga and Waranaivalu topped the goal scoring charts for Fiji with five each with Matanisiga named player of the match.

Host nation Tahiti will meet Fiji at 4pm on Friday.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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