Prolific striker Commins Menapi thundered home a 19th minute header against Hyundai A-League side Queensland Roar to give
Solomon Islands South Pacific Games (SPG) medal chances a massive boost on Friday night.


The 30-year-old Waitakere United marksman finished top goalscorer in the OFC O-League this year was in irrepressible form as
Solomon’s finished their Australian tour with two wins and a draw ahead of their opening match at the SPG against Oceania minnows American Samoa on 25th August at J.S. Blatter Playing Complex in


Another impressive performer for Solomon Islands was Ngaruawahia United midfielder Stanley Waita who gave former Manchester
City defender Danny Tiatto a torrid evening laying on a pinpoint cross for Menapi to convert.


Coach Airton Andrioli was understandably delighted with the result and performance against a top quality


“We had to do without Henry Fa’arodo as he had to return to play for his club. But it was an evenly fought match and we put in
a valiant performance. We missed some good chances in the first half that could have finished off the game,” Andrioli said.


The normally clinical Benjamin Totori had a bad evening in front of goal missing several gilt-edged opportunities in the first
half with Queensland Roar’s equaliser arriving early in the second half.


“I was extremely happy with the boys and I’m confident if they have this same positive attitude at the South Pacific Games,
the team should do well in Samoa,”Andrioli said.


Solomon Islands defensive frailties stood up to their sternest test yet after losing eight goals in their previous three
preparatory matches against some moderate opposition including a Honiara Select XI at Lawson Tama Stadium.


Benjamin Totori Missed several first-half chances.

Benjamin Totori (far left): Missed first-half chances.

Despite Roar’s domination the Soloman Islands opened the scoring in the 19th minute with a simple but nicely worked goal. Powerful forward Commins
Menapi connected forcefully with a pin-point right-wing cross and headed convincingly past Liam Reddy in the Roar goal.

Brazilian striker Reinaldo almost forced the equaliser on the half hour but his downward header from Matt McKay’s swirling free-kick was well saved
by Solomon’s ‘keeper Fred Hale.

Sasa Ognenovski was next to go close for the home side as the half time whistle approached, but his well-directed header from McKay’s corner was
well turned away by Hale.

Farina rang the changes at the start of the second period, making four substitutions. There was an immediate impact and a lively Roar were level in
the 48th minute through Ante Milicic’s precise finish from 18 metres after neat work from substitute Simon Lynch.

Roar were again dominating but didn’t create another clear-cut chance until midway through the half. Brazilian duo Marcinho and Reinaldo combined
neatly with the latter firing a powerful drive across the face of goal but agonisingly just wide of the post.

The action dwindled towards the end but Coach Frank Farina said the game served its purpose for his side.

“We expected a tough game and that’s how it turned out. The Solomon Islands were well organised and made it difficult for us but as an exercise it
was certainly useful as far as we’re concerned,” said Farina.