PORT MORESBY, July 18 – Fiji retained its Pacific Games women’s hockey title after beating Papua New Guinea 9-4 at BSP Stadium on Saturday.
Underdog PNG opened the scoring as it made an attacking start to the match, but it could not break Fiji’s confidence.
“They (PNG) scored first against us. It was a wake-up call for us but we weren’t going to give up that easily,” Fiji captain Catherine Thaggard said.
“We’ve taken them on before and have beaten them every single time. That one goal woke us up but didn’t scare us.”
Thaggard was the youngest player on the Fiji team that beat PNG in the Apia 2007 Pacific Games, when she scored the winning goal in extra-time.
“This is a real glorious moment for me to come back and be the captain of the team and lead them to victory again,” she said.
“It is hard to describe the feeling right now. We are so happy. All our hard work and training in the last six months has paid off.”
A number of penalties went PNG’s way as the host went down fighting, but the Fiji defence denied its attempts at goal.
“This may be a loss but for me this is a victory for the girls,” said PNG captain Terry Kiapin.
“For a young team that was recently put together from the national championship and PNG Games, to get this far and receive silver is just wonderful. We cannot ask for anything else. Everyone played their guts out today.”