Nilesh Lal, Suva
When Fiji football captain Roy Krishna scored in the 10th minute against Mexico, we began fancying our chances of a historic victory in an Olympic football match.
Krishna proved why he is Fiji’s best football er ever yet again by putting Fiji on the scoreboard despite very little possession upfront.
The forwards did their part and the responsibility shifted to the midfield and defence to maintain the lead. However as expected, the dysfunctional defence let in very soft goals resulting in a final score of 5-1, which failed to restore any credibility to the Fijian side in Olympics football.
The defence is definitely not reflective of the capability at U23 level that we have in Fiji. The coach and selectors need to account for the selection decisions which have been questioned on social media and in other circles even before the games.
Secondly, the lack of fitness stands out like a sour thumb from the two games so far with the team conceding all their goals in the last quarter of the game. Whilst Frank Farina and others can provide excuses for our lack of technical ability, there can be no acceptable excuses for the lack of fitness. We might not be the best technically but we could have been up to par in terms of fitness. Farina needs to be questioned about the fitness regime that he put in place for the team, if there was any. While Ben Ryan and his team were doing the hard yards at the sand dunes, how the football team was preparing is anybody’s guess.
It is very apparent that Fiji team officials and the Fiji FA management recklessly failed to adequately prepare the national side for world class competition, and brought a lot of embarrassment to the country, and they need to answer for that.