Thursday, November 30, 2023

Sports news in brief for March 23

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The Junior Bula Boys pose ahead of their Tri-nations test against Solomon Islands
Photo: Fiji Football Association

Fiji – football

Giving players game time and the opportunity to experience top level matches is the challenge for the Fiji junior football squad preparing for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia.

Team Manager Kartik Reddy said that was their biggest challenge at the moment.

“There are a few boys in this squad who have never played in any international environment. So that’s one of the challenges but we’re trying to give them as much exposure and I must be grateful to Fiji Football, who have provided us with whatever we’ve needed for the preparation, and they’ve given us the platform,” he said.

“And it’s for the boys and the team to perform when it’s World Cup time.”

The team is currently participating in the Tri-nations FIFA International friendly series against Solomons, Vanuatu and the Fiji national side.

The Junior Bula Boys lost their first-up match against the senior Solomon Islands side 4-1 and meets the Fiji national side on Thursday, in Ba..

Some warm- up matches are also lined up in Indonesia before the World Cup kicks off on May 20.

New Caledonia/Tahiti – football

New Caledonian footballers got one up on their French Pacific rivals with a 2-0 victory over Tahiti in Pirae.

The match was played during the FIFA international window.

The game started slowly and didn’t come alive until the 69th minute when Makalu Xowi broke the deadlock for New Caledonia.

Ironically, Xowi plays for Tahiti’s Ligue 1 side, AS Temanava.

Tahiti’s hopes of an equaliser were thwarted by New Caledonia’s strong defence, with goalkeeper Warren Hlupa making some crucial saves.

William Rokuad put the game to bed with a late goal in the 88th minute to secure victory for New Caledonia.

The two teams play again on Friday.

Solomon Islands – Pacific Games

Solomon Islands athletes will train in China for three months ahead of the Pacific Games in November and December.

The office of the Solomon Islands prime minister said nine coaches from China will come to Solomon Islands with the athletes to continue their training up until the Games.

China is also contributing several million dollars to the cost of the event.

Meanwhile, improvements to Honiara International Airport have been unveiled.

The Japanese International Corporation Agency provided around $US36.5 million to modernise the airport.

This included the construction of a new international departure terminal building, the renovation of the existing building, and the construction of flood defences.

The new building includes a large departure area, duty-free shops, a business lounge area and several eateries.

Vanuatu – cricket

The Vanuatu Cricket Association will be hosting the men’s and women’s Australian indigenous squads for a T-20 series in May.

Both of Vanuatu’s national squads were part of the recently concluded Pacific Island Cricket Challenge tournament in Fiji.

They will be preparing for East Asia-Pacific qualifiers for the men’s and women’s T-20 World Cups.

The tour is being organised by the Australian Government’s Pacific-Aus Sports partnership, along with Cricket Australia

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