Australia Narrow Winners Over Fiji

Australia remain on course for a berth at the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship after surviving a scare against Fiji at the AIS Arena in Canberra. The Qantas Futsalroos winning 1-0 courtesy of a 15th minute goal by 17-year-old Danny Ngaluafe.

Australia remain on course for a berth at the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship after surviving a scare against Fiji at the AIS Arena in Canberra. The Qantas Futsalroos winning 1-0 courtesy of a 15th minute goal by 17-year-old Danny Ngaluafe. The home side started brightly piling the pressure on the Fijians who resisted stoutly until their defence was finally breached by Ngaluafe-s superb individual goal. The Fijians had a couple of good chances to snatch a draw but overall the Australians seemed in control despite the unusually low scoreline with both teams playing conservatively seemingly content not to over-commit players in attack.

Vanuatu held on to second spot when they continued their good goalscoring form with a 7-4 defeat of Samoa. Led by captain and tournament leading goalscorer Derek Malas who bagged three goals, Vanuatu produced another dynamic attacking display and along with Australia have scored more goals than any other team. Samoa continue to improve with every game and led 3-2 mid-way through the second half before Vanuatu scored five goals to finish the match in emphatic fashion.

New Zealand and the Solomon Islands produced the highest scoring match of the tournament with the Kiwis winning 8-4 largely thanks to the goalscoring feats of captain Nathan Robertson who scored five. After a physical match against Australia the previous night, New Zealand started sluggishly before scoring four goals in five minutes to hold a 5-3 advantage at the interval.

Australia remain atop the OFC Futsal World Qualifying Tournament competition ladder with 9 points, ahead of Vanuatu and New Zealand on 6, Fiji and the Solomon Islands on 3 with Samoa yet to secure any points.