A comprehensive 5-0 victory for Vanuatu’s women’s football team over Solomon Islands on the opening day of the Pacific Mini Games women’s football tournament will prove a confidence boost for the side as they hope to secure gold on home soil.
Meanwhile Fiji also have their sights set on the top prize as they too secured a 5-0 win in their first match, seeing off Tonga with four first half goals.
Solomon Islands came to Vanuatu with development on their mind as they get ready to host the Pacific Games in 2023.
Team manager Angeline Vavesaid remarked that the side’s age dips as low as 14 years old as they look to gain as much experience on the international stage.
“The main reason we are here is to gear up for the 2023 Games,” she said.
Vanuatu meanwhile came into the Mini Games as one of the most prepared of the women’s football teams after spending over five months in China working with coach Wu Kangzhen who has joined them back in Port Vila.
A Pauline Willie goal was all that separated the teams at half-time before a flurry of activity in the final ten minutes at Port Vila Stadium saw the home side secure the victory.
Vanuatu striker Monica Melteviel scored two goals and also provided assists for her teammates in front of the vocal home crowd.
“First and foremost I want to thank the girls for the collective unit that we were able to perform together on the field and we were able to achieve such a great goal margin because of the togetherness,” she said.
While unaccustomed to playing in front of such a large crowd, Melteviel said there was one person in particular who helped make it an extra special day on the pitch.
“It’s an exhilarating experience because this is the first time my mum’s been in the stands to watch me play.
“I’m very excited, and yes there was pressure, but everything helped propel me to execute the goals I scored.”
Also getting on the board for Vanuatu were Jane Alatoa and substitute Toukawa Abock.
In the opening match of the day Tonga came up against Fiji, a nation which has been going from strength-to-strength in the women’s game based on recent youth results.
Jotivini Tabua opened the scoring in the 19th minute before Cema Nasau found the back of the net for her first of two in the first half, ten minutes later. Luisa Tamanitoakula added one either side of the break to take Fiji to a five goal lead.
The women will return to the field on 7 December at Korman Stadium where Solomon Islands and Tonga will meet before Vanuatu takes on Fiji.