Saraphina’s save lifts Kulas to U16 final

September 24, 2023 4:22 pm

[Source: OFC Media via Christophe Fotozz]

Goalkeeper Rosalain Saraphina is the hero for the Digicel Young Kulas as she made a crucial save to send Fiji to the final of the OFC Under-16 Women’s Championship.

Fiji defeated Tahiti 3-2 on penalty shootout.

The match was forced into a penalty shootout after both teams were locked 2-all at full-time.

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After missing the first two attempts, both teams calmed their nerves to once again level 2-all after the fourth attempt.

Sisilia Kuladina didn’t miss her chance as Fiji went up 3-2 leaving all hope to Saraphina who did not disappoint with her crucial save, denying the host side.

Elesi Tabunase got Fiji on the board first with a powerful strike from the penalty spot after she was fouled inside the box 23 minutes into the first half.

Leading 1-0, the hosts gave Fiji a wake-up goal as they equalized six minutes before halftime.

11 minutes into the second spell, the Kulas reclaimed the lead with a floating cross by Seruwaia Laulaba.

The match was set for a thrilling finish when Tahiti again exploited Fiji’s defense to lock the scores at 2-all with a goal to replacement player Fetia Teikiotiu.

Fiji will face either New Zealand or Tonga in the final.