Fiji believe an early goal could inspire them to a shock victory against New Zealand in today’s OFC Women’s Nations Cup football final in Noumea.
The Football Ferns thrashed a second-string Fiji team 10-0 in pool play and have yet to concede a goal in four games.
Fiji coach Marika Rodu said if they can grab an early lead it might just make the defending champions nervous.
“This is the idea. We will take the game to them. We will take a total different approach compared to what we did in pool play and we will see if we can get onto their nerves and disrupt their gameplan and whatever comes our way we will pick it up and see if we can turn it quickly into goal and score an opportunity during during the game,” Marika Rodu said.
New Zealand have won the past three Nations Cup titles but Marika Rodu says, while his team are clear underdogs, anything can happen in football on the day.
“There’s only one thing at stake and it’s a ticket to France next year. New Zealand wants to go, we want to go but we are not going there just to play in the final – we are going up there to win,” she said.
“For us that’s the ultimatum and nothing else than to win. How we win it is a different thing but the focus is to give all our best while we are here for the final. Why not we pull our girls up once again as a team and see if we can make another history by winning this.”
The winner of Saturday’s grand final will qualify for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Hosts New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea will play-off for third place in the curtain-raiser.
(Source:Radio New Zealand)