Four first-half goals from Fiji saw them outclass Cook Islands 4-0 in their final Group B fixture and advance to the semifinals of the OFC Under 16 Women’s Championship 2023 at Papeete, Tahiti today.
Fiji broke the deadlock in the 15th minute through Sisilia Tuvou Kuladina when the Cook Islands defence failed to clear her narrowed effort into the top corner.
Cook Islands captain Jan Taia tried to offer an immediate response with a set-piece but her effort curled wide of goalkeeper Rosalain Sarahphina’s right-hand post.
Cook Islands goalkeeper Vahine Uini reacted smartly to deny Junior Kulas Captain Kasanita Tabua from close range.
But soon after, Tabua grabbed the second goal for Fiji from Elesi Tabunase’s cross which rebounded from a couple of yards out.
The Fijians continued to push and scored two goals in the space of four first-half minutes all but put the tie beyond the Cook Islands.
First, Tabunase got her head to a chipped cross from Torika Drosiniwai to beat Uini, before Kuladina bagged her second with another effort from distance that proved too strong for Uini to keep out.
Kuladina almost completed her hat-trick with a late free-kick from out on the left but her curled effort was tipped behind by Uini.
Fiji moves on to a semifinal date with Tahiti on Sunday.