Fiji Sports

Solomons start with a bang

Written By : AMIT RAJ. Solomon Islands opened its Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Futsal Championship campaign on a high note by thrashing favourites New Zealand 5-1 last night. Skipper Elliot
08 Jun 2008 12:00

Written By : AMIT RAJ. Solomon Islands opened its Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Futsal Championship campaign on a high note by thrashing favourites New Zealand 5-1 last night.
Skipper Elliot Ragomo, who scored a brace, led the first half five-goal blitz as a shell shocked New Zealand side struggled to contain the fiery and skillful Solomon Islanders.
Heavily backed by a large crowd of students mostly from the University of the South Pacific, the young side delighted its fans by putting together strings of short passes with ease combined with deft touches to threaten the New Zealand goal time and again before the floodgates opened.
Also hitting the mark for the Victor Wai’ia coached side were Jenan Kapu, Moffat Sikwa’ae and Micah Lea’alafa before New Zealand skipper Bakr Al Saudi scored a second half consolation to rescue the Kiwis from shame.
“We’re very excited after winning the first game. It has given us very good feeling about this championship,’’ said the 18-year-old Ragomo.
“Beating New Zealand is like a good surprise for us. I think the boys played well.’’
Despite the big win he said the side would have a cautious approach for the remaining games.
“We still have five more games to go and all the games will be tough for us. I can’t say what can happen by the end of this championship but we’d love to win and qualify for the world cup.’’
“We will try to be different in every game,’’ he said.
New Zealand skipper Al Saudi said lack of practice contributed to the heavy loss.
“We are very disappointed. Basically we gave them five goals in the first half and were just chasing the game from thereon.’’
“No excuses but we had a really short buildup. The Solomon Island boys are very sharp and they’ve been in camp for ages. Compared to us they have had more buildup games.’’
“This was our first hit out under the new coach and we couldn’t really do what we were supposed to,’’ Al Saudi said.
He remains confident however that the Kiwis will put the major setback behind them and bounce back to contest for the world cup berth.
“Absolutely, we still haven’t done anything or shown the crowd or other teams what we are capable of in terms of attack. We certainly have a lot more to offer and also lots to improve on as well. We’ll go on from there,’’ Al Saudi said.
Today’s draws: 4pm New Zealand-Vanuatu, 6pm Solomon Islands-New Caledonia, 8pm Tuvalu-Tahiti.



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