Fiji under-19 qualify for quarter-finals

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The Fiji under-19 side. Picture OFC/SUPPLIED.

The Fiji under-19 football side was held to a nil-all draw by hosts Tahiti in its last group match at the OFC U19 Championship 2022 at Stade Pater in Papeete on Thursday night.

The draw means Fiji finishes as runner-up in Group B and is through to the quarter-finals.

Fiji had earlier defeated Tonga 3-nil while three match points were awarded to them for the match against Papua New Guinea as the opponents did not turn up to the tournament.

With both teams already into the quarter-finals after being awarded wins over Papua New Guinea and beating Tonga, the second-half struggled to spark into life, with neither side willing to push for a winner.

Nabil Begg’s blocked shot was the only chance of note in the second period as the game drifted to a stalemate.

The result means Tahiti win Group B on goal difference and they will face either the Cook Islands or Vanuatu in the quarter-finals. Fiji will face Samoa, with both games taking place on Monday, September 19.

Coach Ronil Lal, speaking to OFC after the match against Tahiti, said his team was aware of the stakes in the quarter-final.

“It will be knockout stage. It will be tough. It won’t be the pool stage where we will get another chance so we have to really prepare well for it,” Lal said.