The Vanuatu national football team put on a stellar performance in their final match of the Tri-Nations tournament against Fiji U-20 on the 26th of March 2023. The match was played at Churchill Park in Lautoka, Fiji, and saw Vanuatu triumph over their opponents by 2-1.
Galaxy FC’s striker Joe Moses put Vanuatu in the lead early on, scoring a goal at the 10th minute of play. The Ifira Black Bird’s star Tonly Kalotang doubled their lead at the 50th minute, giving Vanuatu a comfortable lead. However, the Junior Bula Boys fought back with Gary Kubu scoring a goal at the 55th minute, but it wasn’t enough to secure a draw or a win.
This victory marked the second win for Vanuatu in the tournament, with their only loss coming against the Solomon Islands national team. As a result, they finished the tournament in second place, while Fiji U-20 ended up in the last place with just one point taken from the draw against Fiji national team.
For Fiji U-20, the international friendly matches served as preparation for the upcoming U-20 World Cup in Indonesia this May. Despite not performing well in the Tri-Nations tournament, the experience gained will be valuable for their preparations for the World Cup.
On the other hand, Vanuatu can be proud of their performances, winning two out of three matches under the guidance of coach Etienne Mermer. Their good performances in the international friendly matches this FIFA window give Vanuatu a boost in their build up for the Pacific Games to be played this year in Honiara, Solomon Islands.