Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Mustahib dedicates award, win to parents

Goalkeeper Aydin Mustahib, who scooped the Player of the Match award in Fiji’s 3-0 semifinal win over the Solomon Islands in the OFC Olympic Qualifier in Auckland on Wednesday has dedicated the achievement to his parents.

The Manurewa FC player said he was content to help the Junior Bula Boys overcome an unpredictable Solomon Islands and qualify for the final but winning the award was something unexpected and came as a bonus.

“I had a feeling that we would beat Solomon because of the amount of training we had been doing but winning the award was not on my mind,” Mustahib told FijiLive.

“When my name got announced, I was happy and in tears because sometimes we play but we don’t win and sometimes we play, alongside the victory there is a special token for which I’m thankful.”

“This award is long overdue for my dad Mustahib Imran and mum Raselin because not always get a chance to play in front of them in the Fijian jersey. Their support from the stands fuelled extra motivation in me to put out the 101 per cent performance throughout the match.”

“Solomon forwards were striking some really powerful shots but our defenders stood firm and I had to be very alert in the match.”

While acknowledging the efforts displayed by his fellow teammates, Mustahib revealed that players’ hunger and determination for a positive result was the key to their win.

“I thank the boys for the wonderful performance and they really showed a lot of passion, courage and were determined to win.”

“After the win against PNG, we knew Solomon would be tough to battle against but the coach told us to keep things simple on the field and just execute the game plan.”

“I have been playing with this set of boys since the Under 20 qualifiers and we have a strong team culture no matter what the situation is like. After the opening loss, we lifted the spirit in each other and the brotherhood bond spoke volumes on the field in the two games.”

The 20-year-old University of Auckland student is optimistic that Fiji can beat defending champions and host nation New Zealand in the grand final on Saturday.

“We have lost to New Zealand but we have seen the way they play and we hope to beat them because the boys and officials have made a lot of sacrifices in reaching this far. Our win so far is encouraging the players to give their best and stay focused.”

“New Zealand is always a strong team and with faith in God, I believe we can match their level of competition. The team will need to follow the coach’s plan and avoid making errors because we know they will want to capitalise on whatever chance we throw at them.”

“This is the only chance we have to play at the Olympics and it’s a dream of every player in the national team to make Fiji proud.”

The final between Fiji and New Zealand will kick off at 7pm at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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