Cole calls on fans to support home team

Sports

PAPUA New Guinea Under-20 women’s coach Lisa Cole is urging supporters to stand behind their team as this is the stepping stone for them into the World Cup challenge.
Cole said stakeholders, including the PNG Football Association and government, should keep supporting them and investing in the young girls.
The American said PNG had to realise that they were the underdogs in group A, which included soccer heavyweights Brazil, Sweden and North Korea.
“We can’t expect to walk on to the world stage and be successful the first time out, especially against a team like Brazil,” Cole said.
“This World Cup for PNG is about gaining experience, seeing the level of play and rising to it.
She said Brazil was a competitive and experienced team.
“We knew that going into the game and they proved that,” the PNG coach said.
“They were better organised than we were.
“We were nervous in the first-half but I wish we had put more pressure on them.
“I guess our women were overawed and that created space which the Brazilians took advantage of.
“Brazil was very good at moments but our defenders and goalkeeper, in particular, did manage to make the game a bit testier for them,” she said.
Cole said the team wanted to improve collectively and individually and were learning in each game.
Flanker Nicolette Ageva was outstanding on the night in attack and defence, while Jacqueline Maiyosi was tireless up front.
“I was happy with how goalkeeper Lavina Hola played in goal despite the scoreline.
“She made several great saves and that helped prevent a blowout of the final scores.
“Hola has come a long way,” Cole said.

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