The second matchday of the U17 OFC Championship had only one match in the Fijian capital city, Suva. The hosts started their campaign against Samoa – the Samoans, coached by local football legend Desmond Richmond Fa’aiuaso, the all-time scorer for his country, aimed to grab a surprise result against the hosts. Samoa counted on some key additions from overseas such as the striker Pharell Trainor, from Newcastle Jets from Australia.
The match started even with both sides fighting for the control of the ball. But Fiji’s quality turned into a goal at the 28th minute of play thanks to William Khan – he found himself free in the second post to head it to the nets after a very good delivery from Nadi’s Vinayak Rao.
After the break, Fiji returned strong to the second half and found themselves another goal thanks to Prashant Kumar at the 49th minute after a very good play of Australia-based Ibraheem Afazal.
Ten minutes later, Kumar was fouled at the edge of the box; the referee pointed to the mark and awarded the home side a penalty kick. Vinayak Rao stepped up and calmly put the ball at the back of the net to seal the match in favour of Fiji.
The hosts now earn a six-day period before their next match against Tonga. The Samoans will have to decide their destiny against the Tongans next Sunday (15th Jan).