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Fiji wants to keep dreaming of France

A look at Fiji's victory in the OFC Women’s Nations Cup qualification tournament, opening them doors to the OFC Women’s Nations Cup finals which will take place in November. See the highlights and the impressive performances of their striker, Trina Davis.

Fiji women's team celebrating after scoring against American Samoa

Fiji won the OFC Women’s Nations Cup qualification tournament thanks to a last round victory against American Samoa, and qualified for the finals held at the end of the year, a tournament which provides a spot at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019.

These qualifiers saw the four lowest ranked teams of the zone (American Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji), playing a round-robin tournament, with the winner gaining access to the OFC Women’s Nations Cup itself.

Fiji started their tournament in very impressive fashion, thrashing Vanuatu 5-1, with the stats speaking for themselves: 16 shots including 12 on target, when Vanuatu managed only 4 (2 on target). Trina Davis, just 16 years old, was undoubtedly the revelation of the tournament, showing both her speed and her finishing skills (four goals in total, including a hat-trick against Vanuatu). Look at the cold blooded shot on the first goal she scored:

The second game proved more difficult against Solomon Islands, ending up goalless, despite the very strong domination of Marika Rodu’s girls. But being denied by the woodwork, by the excellent Solomons' goalkeeper Margaret Kofela, or simply being inefficient (12 shots off target), Fiji could not hit the back of the net.

Fiji player Trina Davis in action

Which made their last match against American Samoa crucial. And the Fijian girls took the game very seriously from the beginning. Initially strongly resisted by an American Samoan side that kept their defense tight, the Bula Girls finally broke the deadlock shortly before half-time. And it was inevitable that Trina Davis, once more, should open the score. A few minutes later, another major talent in the team, Cema Nasau, doubled the advantage with a beautiful shot from the edge of the box.

The scoreboard didn't change after that, Larry Mana'o's players defending as strongly as they could to stop the Fijian waves. With this win, Fiji can keep dreaming of a trip in France next year, but coach Rodu wants to keep a calm head, as she told oceaniafootball.com. "There’s no need for us to celebrate, we have a tough journey ahead of us and that’s facing the other seven teams in the OFC Women’s Nations Cup next stage".

Indeed, Fiji will face Tonga, Cook Islands and New Zealand in Group B next November, some very strong opponents. "Overall the girls have learned a lot on this journey. I think we can take away the positives from this tournament but we also have to reflect on all three of our games and see what we can fine-tune ahead of the next stage of the Women’s World Cup qualifiers", concluded Rodu.

Watch all the games and highlights of the tournament on-demand