NEIL Adrakar with pallbearers carry the casket of his father, Parveen Adrakar to his final resting place.

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Learn from 2015, prepare well

Opinions / Analysis

FIJI’S Oceania U-19 Football Championship run ended with a crushing defeat to New Zealand in the grand finale.


Fiji lost 3-0 to a much superior team.

But with FIFA’s luck of the draw Fiji qualified for the 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup, as for the first time two teams will be representing the zone.

For Fiji preparations for the big event starts now.

And it will not be long before they will be lined up with the world's best in Indonesia.


The shift demands better training, and quality exhibition games.

The New Zealand loss is a learning curve to the team, coaching staff and Fiji Football-that a similar performance, would be disastrous in the World Cup if the team is not better prepared.

Mismatch

New Zealand exposed Fiji’s weakness during the 90 minutes at their own game.

Fiji lacked confidence, found it hard to connect a string of passes, lazy in midfield play and immobile defensively.

New Zealand turned on their flair with an inspired football performance and annihilated Fiji.

A true horrendous display of football.

Different approach

More focus needs to be put on the tactical and technical aspects of the game and how they prepare for Indonesia in the 7 months, as ‘time is said to be the master of all things’.

The team, for the historical first, had overseas players, who failed to match up their opponent in every facet of the game.

But with a good New Zealand tutorial, and moving forward, the team needs to up its confidence level, intensify momentum and display fortitude.

All of which was a miss and here the qualification has fans sound off vuvuzela, simply put, stop it.

It may sound artless, but failure to understand the field of teams, their strengths, style, and cohesiveness would mirror them a repeat of the 2015 U20 World Cup run.

Fiji got humiliated 8-1 to Germany, 3-0 Uzbekistan and won 3-0 to Honduras.

Lal tested

Lal can sing to his best tune of the enormity of Fiji’s players, backroom staff, and fans support.

But what the sport needs is a quality team to compete, nothing else matters.

While he may have found it a breeze against the island nations, the buck stopped with New Zealand, it is not the result he wanted but was handed.

For Fiji it is a good wakeup call, step up or face the uncompromising Indonesia.

Strategize.

Unless Lal strategizes accordingly, Fiji will be making numbers.

He needs to employ constructive football and not fall back on the typical Fiji style’ kick and chase’ football that was on display.

It looks embarrassing to say the least that habits are hard to break when it comes to Fiji football.

Often times when Fiji teams’ get toyed around like they were against New Zealand with possessional football to tactical play, desperation sets in, and all focus is lost.

Lesson learnt

Lal has drawn positives from the OFC U-19 championship.

And now he has his work cut out for him, prepare well for the competition, or prepare to get schooled.

What else he needs to remember is that his team will play in an event of ordinary footballers destined to become extraordinary.

Let us have the ordinary draw ‘eagle eyes,’ agents and scouts to identify promising players for club tryouts.

Big deal


The greatness of a footballer is, from obscurity to fame.

Fijian footballers need to show up and remember anything is possible.

Just be better prepared.


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