Farina's Fiji makes history at U-20 World Cup

Fiji pulled off the biggest upset of New Zealand 2015 thus far, beating Honduras 3-0 for the country's first-ever win at a FIFA tournament while Germany eased into the knockout phase with a comfortable win over Uzbekistan.

Fiji celebrates

Fiji celebrates a goal during the FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2015 group F match between Honduras and Fiji, in Christchurch (AAP) Source: AAP

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It was an incredible victory for the Oceanian underdog, beaten 8-1 by Germany in its FIFA U-20 World Cup opener, and Australian coach Frank Farina's side now stands a genuine chance of reaching the last 16.

Its beaten opponent also remains in contention thanks to its previous win over Uzbekistan, but faces the might of Germany in its concluding Group F fixture.

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Honduras had initially been the first to settle after a pre-match downpour in Christchurch and even had the ball in the net through Alberth Elis, who was rightly ruled offside. But the Fijians weathered that early storm and responded with a sensational 14th-minute opener through Iosefo Verevou.

The Fijians looked almost as shocked as their opponent to have gone ahead, but the picture was to become even brighter five minutes later. That was when Saula Waqa doubled the tally with a strike that, while hardly a thing of beauty, was celebrated more wildly than any goal-of-the-tournament contender.

This was already shaping up to be the shock of the tournament but there was yet another sensation to come, as Fiji raced into a remarkable 3-0 lead in the final minute of the half.

Rubbing salt into Honduran wounds was the fact that this latest strike went down as an own goal, with defender Kevin Alvarez deflecting the ball in after Atonio Tuivuna had climbed highest to win a Fiji corner.

A Mark Stendera brace has taken Germany through to the last 16 after a with a 3-0 win over Uzbekistan.

It was no more than European champion Germany deserved after a dominant display punctuated with three delightful but different goals, with captain Kevin Akpoguma's 59th minute strike sandwiched in between Stendera's double.


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2 min read
Published 4 June 2015 at 5:35pm
Source: SBS