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Monday, March 03, 2008

Fiji U23 soccer officials bank on Luke Iroi's boys to beat Oly-whites to keep Fiji's chances alive

Fingers are crossed in the Fiji under-23 camp as officials hope the Solomon Islands can beat favourites New Zealand.

This will open up the competition for top spot and keep alive Fiji's chances of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics.

Team director Rajesh Patel yesterday said the Solomon's are capable of creating an upset against the Kiwis.

"New Zealand plays with different strategies whereas Solomon Island is much like Fiji but they have skillful and fast players," Patel said.

"It should be a strongly contested game and if Solomon produces a formidable combination, they'll give New Zealand a good run."

"A positive result in favour of the Solomon's will make the competition more interesting as well," Patel said.

He called on the local fans to rally support for the Fiji boys.

"The coach has played his part and so have the players but they lack international exposure," he said.

"Our boys lacked experience on how we should control and finish the game. They just lapsed in concentration and paid dearly.

"I urge fans to come out in big numbers, stop criticising the boys and support them.

"The Olympics playoff is still open and giving them a chances, will lift their spirits to make amends."

In the opening matches of the Olympics playoff,NZ beat Fiji 2-1,Vanuatu beat Cook Is. 4-0 and Solomons beat PNG 6-1.

Source: Fijitimes

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