Vanuatu coach Mermer Etienne said it is always tough playing Fiji in Fiji so they are delighted with the first-up win.
“We respect the Fijian football team. We rate them above us because they are among the best of the island countries.
“We are very grateful to Fiji FA for inviting us to be part of the Tri-nations series. We hardly play internationals friendly so we took the opportunity with both hands when we were invited. It’s always tough to play here so this win means a lot,” Etienne said.
Fiji head coach Marika Rodu admitted they had not performed as well as they could.
“I think we started very well, dictating play. But then they visited our box five times and they scored twice.
“It’s those crucial moments when we lose the ball and our reaction level is very slow. We need to defend well and improve on it before the second match on Thursday.
“Our decision-making in the final third on the attack is also one area we will be working on,” Rodu added.
It was a poor night for Fiji’s footballers on home turf as the national U-20 side also experienced defeat, going down to Solomon Islands’ senior side, 4-1 at Churchill Park.