Monday, June 17, 2024
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Khan stars as Fiji bags first win

Nippy Suva midfielder Ramzan Khan scored a hat-trick of goals as Fiji snatched its first win in the Melanesian Futsal Cup 2023 beating New Caledonia 6-3 in their second match at the Vodafone Arena in Suva today.

After being held 2-2 against Vanuatu yesterday, the Jerry Sam coached side played with a lot of focus and determination.

Just five minutes past, New Caledonia spoiled Fiji’s plan when Emmanuel Hmaen blasted right into the net finding lanky goalkeeper Ravinesh Singh collecting himself up from the floor.

Skipper Filipe Baravilala and Edwin Sahayam applied immense pressure but they could not break the heavy defence created by New Caledonia.

In the 8th minute, match official Philip Mana flashed a yellow card to New Caledonia’s DJarimwa Naaoutchoue for kicking down Ramzan Khan.

A minute later, Khan got the equaliser for Fiji after he powered into the net following a one-on-one with Bruce Hughes which goalkeeper Amaud Llambrich failed to understand.

Fiji’s Aiyush Ashish Kumar was also awarded a yellow card for intentional foul on Stevens Gullema and this awarded New Caledonia a free kick which Eric Saihuliwa took but Singh headed the ball away this time.

Coming off the bench in the 16th minute, Rajneel Singh doubled the or Fiji from his own ball rebound finding keeper Llambrich out of the goalmouth but a few seconds later Singh copped a yellow card as well for foul play.

Fiji led 2-1 at the breather.

Early in the second stanza, the hosts took advantage of an unsettled New Caledonia after Singh set up an unmarked former Fiji Under 20 rep Ratu Dau to score.

But the visitors responded just a few seconds later through Marcel Hnepeune, who took a powerful shot which went past under the long hands of Singh.

After the New Caledonian players kicked the ball out of play, Fiji received a kick in where Singh planted the ball to Khan and he slammed it right into the roof of the net for a 4-2 lead in the 31st minute.

Five minutes later, Filipe Baravulala and Singh combined to set up Khan, who found New Caledonia goalkeeper off his guard and scored his hat-trick but New Caledonia again responded immediately through Emmanuel Hmaen from a Remi Boussemart cross.

Fiji kept the momentum and pressured the New Caledonian defence which saw Baravilala break from the midfield and beat the defenders finding his way into the net for a 6-3 lead.

Late in the match, Sam introduced Kitione Baleloa in place of Singh.

Meanwhile, Khan, who has so far netted four goals in the tournament scooped the player of the match.

In another match,  the Solomon Islands edged Vanuatu 5-4.

The teams:

Fiji: Ravinesh Anand Singh (GK), Filipe Baravilala (C), Vineet Nadan, Ramzan Khan, Bruce Hughes, Kitione Baleloa, Rajneel Singh, Edwin Sahayam, Prashant Chand, Ronish Singh, Ratu Dau, Aman Naidu, Kavinesh lal, Aiyum Ashish Kumar.

New Caledonia: Amaud Llambrich (GK), Eric Saihuliwa, Stevens Gullemain, James Namuli, Marcel Hnepeune, Mathiew Wassin, Paul Longue, Waitronyie Lalie, Remi Boussemart, Emmanuel Hmaen, Rene Sawaza, DJarimwa Naaoutchoue, Benjamin Halune, Jimmy Wright.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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