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Kossa retain national futsal title

Solomon Islands international Micah Lea’alafa, who starred for the Kurukuru as they won the OFC Futsal Championship in Fiji in May, led the way for the champions, notching a hat-trick in an entertaining final to end Brisolona’s hopes of a maiden national trophy.
Kossa coach Tony Wale says his charges have worked hard for their latest triumph and was pleased with how they kept their focus throughout the tournament.
“Hard work, togetherness and our ability to enjoy the game whatever the pressure are what won us the grand final,” Wale says.
“Any team that wins through such hard work deserves their reward.”
Defeated coach Victor Waiia conceded his men were beaten by a better side but praised his players for their performance in the final.
“Kossa is a great team with very fast players and they used this well against us. I congratulate them for their success,” Waiia says.
“I also wish to congratulate my players for taking the team this far. Last year, we exited in the group stage but we have made the grand final this time so it has been an important step up for us.”
A good crowd turned up to witness the final and the action surpassed the expectations of even the most optimistic of fans.
Just moments after kick-off, Kossa took the lead when Dickson Ramo capitalised on some hesitation in the Brisolona defence to place a low shot into the net. But Brisolona quickly drew level through Kurukuru captain Elliot Ragomo, who found a way past Kossa goalkeeper Silas Seda from a tight angle.
McPhillip Aisa then put Brisolona ahead from a Robert Laua pass but Kossa were far from out of the game and added two more goals through Lea’alafa to regain the lead by halftime.
Kossa drew first blood in the second spell when Coleman Makau, a Solomon Islands 11-a-side international, pounced on a loose ball near the Brisolona goal. Ragomo, regarded by many as the best futsal player in Oceania, made sure Brisolona remained in contention though, firing home a trademark strike from distance to make the score 4-3.
Aisa then tied the ledger up once again with an acrobatic strike that will be remembered as one of the goals of the season.
There was no change to the status quo before the fulltime whistle and the match was therefore forced into extra-time. Unfortunately for Brisolona’s band of loyal supporters, the added period was a one-sided affair as Kossa knocked in three more goals to run away with the victory.
Ramo got his second of the afternoon before Lea’alafa struck again with a clever cut-back that was helped into his own net by unlucky defender Phillip Houtara. Before the referee could put an end to proceedings, there was still time for Lea’alafa to complete his hat-trick and put the game well out of Brisolona’s reach.
The bronze medals went to the men from Marist after they beat Koloale 5-3 in the 3rd/4th play-off.
Marist had further reason to celebrate when one of their key figures, Gabriel Bosi, received the Player of the Tournament award. The Golden Boot went to Kossa’s Dickson Ramo while Kurukuru goalkeeper Paul Huia took home the Golden Glove award as the tournament’s most outstanding custodian.
For more on Solomon Islands football go to www.siff.com.sb

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