Fiji dominated from start to finish and claimed a nice win to start their OFC Women’s Nations Cup campaign.
(Cook Islands – Fiji 0-3)
The first 10 minutes were fairly quiet with Fiji having the ball and the Cooks pressing hard and breaking on the counter without creating much.
Then Fiji had a goal disallowed when Trina Davis found Cema Nasau who kept off a few Cooks defenders before passing it to Luisa Tamanitoakula who tapped it into the net. Unfortunately for Fiji Tamanitoakula was in an offside position.
Fiji were the better side for the first half hour and got their reward after 34 minutes. Nasau made her way into the Cook Islands box from her left wing position.
She found Koleta Likuculacula who held the ball up before passing it back to an open Nasau.
The winger had no problem with slotting the ball home from a short distance to give Fiji the lead.
And just a minute later, things would get even better for Fiji. A long kick from goalkeeper Adi Tuwai ended up in space, where Davis used her speed to get through.
The Cook Islands goalkeeper Marjorie Toru had been very good at rushing out earlier in the game but completely misjudged this one and took Davis out.
That didn’t matter however, as the youngster had just managed to get the shot off and the ball bounced into the open net.
The first big chance in the second half came after five minutes. Davis crossed it to Likuculacula who hit the ball first time. The shot rattled the crossbar behind Toru, who could do nothing about it and Fiji could count themselves unlucky not to be 3-0 up.
Fiji kept up the pressure in the early minutes of the second half and finally got their reward in the 57th minute when a corner was swung in on the far post. Toru came to claim it and missed the ball and there to put her head to it above everyone else was Luisa Tamanitoakula.
A rare chance for the Cook Islands came when Teretia Teinaki had a shot from a distance, it looked to sail harmlessly over the goal but it dipped at the last second and hit the top of the crossbar and bounced out.
The Cook Islands biggest chance came 15 minutes before the end. Captain Liz Harmon had been quiet all match long but unleashed a shot that gave Tuwai something to work with in goal. However, the Fiji goalkeeper managed to save without too much difficulty.
Fiji controlled the rest of the game and had full control of everything. They have got their group stage off to the best possible start.