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OFC Nations Cup 2002
Auckland, New Zealand 5-14 July

Match 3, Day Two (Saturday 6 July):
Group A - Ericsson Stadium
Final Score: New Caledonia 1 Fiji 2
(Halftime: 0-1 Fiji)

Fiji survives tough challenge from New Caledonia
by Peter Rees - OFC Media Officer

New Caledonia played better in the second half but Fiji emerged victorious
in the first match of Group A at Ericsson Stadium tonight. Fiji went into
the half up 1-0, after both sides failed to capitalise on several chances at
Shortly after the break, Junior Bukaudin put Fiji up 2-0 with a well-taken
goal beating a couple of defenders from close in. But with 12 minutes
remaining Andre Sinedo pegged one back for New Caledonia heading in a rocket
after a brilliant cross from a free kick. New Caledonia and Fiji both had
other chances after that but were unable to finish.
In the 22nd minute of the first half, Fijian midfielder Veresa Toma was on
the end of a sensational slip pass from the right side from teammate Keni
Doidoi. He burst on to the pass just inside the penalty box and on the turn
slotted the goal past New Caledonian goalkeeper Michel Hne.
There were other chances to score from both teams but they all missed the
mark through a combination of poor finishing and some brilliant goalkeeping.
A substantial portion of tonights crowd (approx 1000 and building up for
second match between Australia and Vanuatu) is again from the Melanesian
community in Auckland. Weather conditions are much better than the opening
games last night in Group B at North Harbour Stadium.
It rained earlier but the weather has cleared up considerably and there is
just a breath of wind in the air compared to the gusty rainy conditions last
Afterwards, Fijian coach Billy Singh was satisfied with the win but said the
team could have done better had their preparations been longer. He cited
star player Esala Masi as a case in point as he had only just joined the
team in the past two weeks and this showed as he more a distributor for his
team-mates on the night.
New Caledonia coach Martinengo de Novack Serge regretted at least three sure
opportunities to score which he says were crucial misses. He also said the
team had a hasty buildup prior to the OFC Nations Cup 2002 and is hoping for
better results for the rest of the tournament.
It was a gutsy effort by New Caledonia against the much more fancied Fijian
team. They qualified for the OFC Nations Cup 2002 after coming second to
Papua New Guinea at the qualifying tournament in Samoa back in March. Since
then, they had changed coach and several members of their squad, which
included dropping striker Joris Pibke who was the qualifying tournament top
scorer. Serge says his omission was a selection decision.


23 min: # 18 Veresa Toma (Fiji)
49 min: # 9 Junior Bokaudi (Fiji)


New Caledonia
# 7 Yves Faye for # 18 David Hay (52)
# 16 Jacques Dahote for # 9 Iamel Kabeu (66)
# 6 Gil Elmour for # 17 Maurice Cawa (86)

# 11 Lorima Dau for # 18 Veresa Toma (92+)


Yellow - # 18 David Hay NEW CALEDONIA (47)

Team Lists:

New Caledonia: 1. Michel Hne 4. Franck Oiremoin 5. Jean Marc Case 8. Steeven
Longue 9. Iamel Kabeu 10. Marius Mapou 12. Pierre Tidjine 13. Robert Kauma
14. Andre Sinedo 17. Maurice Cawa 18. David Hay
BENCH: 2. Theodore Pian 3. Alain Kecine 6. Gil Elmour 7. Yves Faye 11. Stone
Longue 15. Ricardo Nepamoindou 16. Jacques Dahote 19. Harer Danid 20. Justin

Coach - M.Martinengo de Novack

Fiji: 1. Laisena Tuba 2. Viliame Toma 5. Valerio Nasema 7. Manoa Masi 8.
Emosi Baleinuku 9. Junior Bukaudi 10. Keni Doidoi 12. Esala Masi 14. Jope
Namawa 17. Malakai Kainihewe 18. Veresa Toma
BENCH: 3. Ovini Duguca 4. Seveci Rokotakala 11. Lorima Dau 15. Stewart Bola
16. Apenisa Qereqeretabua 19. Sailesh Samy Bula 20. Luke Tavuyara

Coach - Billy Singh

Referee: Derek Rugg (New Zealand)
Assistant Referee: John Berry (New Zealand)
Assistant Referee: Gray Vuke (Vanuatu)
Fourth Official: Matthew Breeze (Australia)

Match Commissioner: Armand Colombani (Tahiti)
Referee Inspector: Yves Taga (Vanuatu)

Crowd: 1000
Weather: Cold, slight breeze
Start time: 5:00pm