Junior Bula Boys falls in final

September 25, 2022 8:39 pm

The Digicel Junior Bula Boys have gone down to New Zealand in the OFC Under-19 Championship final in Tahiti.

New Zealand retained the title after a 3-0 win.

Fiji played defensive football for about 70% of the first half before their line was finally breached in the 34th minute when Oliver Fay put New Zealand in front.

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A few minutes later the Kiwis struck again with a beautiful setup goal for Oliver Colloty which left the national side’s defenders stunned.

The Fijian defenders and goalkeeper Aydin Mustahid have to be commended for their efforts because the scoreline could’ve been worse before halftime but the team managed to restrict their opponent to just two goals at the break.

Fiji started well in the second spell and nearly scored a goal but Lachlan Lal’s attempt hit the woodwork.

It was a better second half from the Ronil Lal-coached side as they had a few shots on target with Nabil Begg producing some brilliant plays.

New Zealand found the back of the net again through Jay Herdman in the 81st minute for their third goal.

Coach Lal says he’s proud of the side after achieving their goal of qualifying for the 2023 U-20 World Cup in Indonesia.

‘‘Things are not in our control at times, certain things happen but I think the boys did really well, it’s also a learning experience for us what we need to do and how we can improve, I think it’s a positive thing for the boys the way they have played’’.

He adds they’ll return home and map out a plan for their next assignment.