Match Report

Match 2

Fiji 1:0 India
Goals: 1-0 Esala Masi (14', pen)

Kick-off time: 19.00 local time (12.30 IST / 09.00 CET)
Venue: Churchill Park, Lautoka
Attendance: 10.000

Simione Tamanisau; Lorima Dau, Alvin Avinesh, Luke Vidovi, Apisalome Turuva, Avinesh Swamy; Esala Masi, Josaia Bukalidi (??' Taniela Waqa), Salesh Kumar (88' Petero Daunisaka); Kiniviliame Naika, Thomas Vulivuli (77' Osea Vakatalesau)

VP Satish Kumar; Irungbam Surkumar Singh, Selwyn Fernandes, Naduparambil Pappachan Pradeep, Manju Nanjangud Shivananju; Shylo Malswam Tulunga, Sukhjinder Singh (75' Sukhwinder Singh), Shanmugam Venkatesh, Debabrata Roy (??' Subhas Chakraborty); Vimal Pariyar, Manjit Singh (64' Sunil Chetri)

Referee: Neil Fox (New Zealand)

Yellow Card: Selwyn Fernandes (14' India), Vimal Pariyar (??' India), Manju Nanjangud Shivananju (56' India)

Match Reports:

Masi seals win | Fiji Sun
National soccer captain Esala Masi nailed home a lone goal to keep India scoreless on Fiji soil last night. The Malaysia-based player slotted in the winner in the 14th minute of the first half after young Avinesh Swamy was fouled in the penalty box by Selwyn Fernandes. However the experienced campaigner could not double the scores when the Pepsi Fiji side was awarded another penalty in the second half by New Zealand referee Neil Fox in front of packed Churchill Park crowd in Lautoka.
Indian goalkeeper Satish Kumar inspired his side with a superb save in the 10th minute of the second spell, which denied the national side an important goal. The Shanmugam Venkatesh led side looked elusive in attack but the side failed to score goals when it mattered against a more physical national side. Masi was relieved to have won the match in the end and thanked his players for a gallant performance.
He said he was not impressed with the ground conditions, adding that the win had given them much-needed confidence ahead of the next match. “At the end of the day we got the result and that is what matters,” Masi said. “Everyone fought hard even though it wasn't a pretty game. It’s one of those days. It happens in the game. Big players miss penalties but I am thankful to the rest of the players who helped out in the back.” Indian coach Sukvindra Singh said the national side played a more physical game. He was also disappointed with the ground conditions. He said the side tried hard to score but would have to work hard in the final match of the series at the National Stadium tomorrow.

10,000 watch Fiji beat India | Fiji Times
National captain Esala Masi scored from a penalty to guide Fiji to a historic 1-0 win over India in the first friendly encounter at Churchill Park last night.
Masi slotted in the spot kick on 14minutes after an Indian defender tripped debutant Avinesh Swamy in the penalty area.
The Fiji side displayed physical soccer and dominated aerial possession, which rattled the opposition in front of the 10,000 crowd. The tourists lacked height in defence and attack.
Fiji coach Lee Sterrey was happy with his first win. Sterrey said the players settled well in the first 20 minutes, which laid the platform for the encounter.
"The pitch wasn't perfect for soccer so we played accordingly," said the national coach.
Fiji started the match on a positive note putting India under pressure.
India goalkeeper Satish Kumar was forced to make an early save from a corner kick. A defence error allowed Swamy to run on to a free ball in the India box. The Ba player was struck from behind.
Masi made no mistakes from the spot kick sending Palanivalu the wrong way.
Sweeper Lorima Dau was forced to clear the ball off the line through a header in the 44th minute after India pressured to equalise.
Fiji was awarded a second penalty in the 50th minute after Irungbam Surkumar Singh handled a corner kick. Masi's attempt was saved by Kumar.
India coach Sukhvinder Singh said the ground surface didn't help their style of soccer. "My boys tried hard. We missed a sitter one metre away from the goalmouth," said Singh.
Masi said the win had boosted the morale of his team. "I'm thankful to the players for their efforts. We held the fort and came out winners. The win means a lot to us, it gives us more confidence before the next match," Masi said.