- Fiji News
- Fiji Sports
By LEONE CABENATABUA
Disaster struck the national soccer team hours before they drew with Solomon Islands 0-0 at the Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara yesterday.
National soccer coach, Carlos Buzzetti, slipped and injured his lower back disc at the Pacific Casino Hotel pool, which prevented him from being with the team in this most important clash.
The draw now means that Fiji has a slim chance of making it to the second round of the OFC Nations Cup.
“It’s unfortunate that Carlos injured his back and was not able to be with the team,” said Fiji Football Association team director, Tarunesh Reddy.
He also pointed out that it was disappointing to see the team miss a number of goal-scoring opportunities, which could have given that most important win.
“If we had scored one of those chances this game would have been ours. It is now a wait and see situation” Reddy said.
Assistant coach, Imdad Ali, said Fiji needs to win by two goals against Papua New Guinea and hope that New Zealand beats Solomon Islands in their final pool match.
National soccer striker Osea Vakatalesau twice had the Solomon Islands goalkeeper Felix Ray Junior at his mercy but shot wide.
Again in the 43rd minute with the goalmouth wide open Vakatalesau headed the ball over the bar.
His striking partner, Roy Krishna, toiled hard but had to be carried out in the second spell because of a hamstring.
Krishna was replaced by Hekari FC striker Maciu Dunadamu.
Midfielder Pita Bolaitoga was lucky not to be red carded in the 27th minute after he deliberately touched the ball during a free-kick.
Referee Kader Zitouni flashed him the yellow card and so were Ilisoni Logaivau, Samuela Vula and Posiano Kalisito.
Fiji: Simione Tamanisau, Taniela Waqa, Avinesh Suwamy, Remueru Tekiata, Samuela Kautoga (Alvin Singh), Samuela Vula (Posiano Kalisito), Alvin Avinesh, Ilisoni Logaivau, Pita Bolaitoga, Roy Krishna (Maciu Dunadamu), Osea Vakatalesau
Solomon Islands: Felix Ray Jnr, Mostyn Beui (Jeffery Bule), Henry Fa’arodo, Tome Faisi, Abraham Iniga, Joe Luwi, James Naka, Leslie Nate, Seni Ngava, Loni Qaraba, Nelson Kilifa.