Solomon Islands preparation for the XIII South Pacific Games football tournament may have continued in a winning vein but concerns are being raised with the less than convincing quality of
Solomon Islands defeated their U-23 counterparts – Solympic team – 3-0 but turned in an inspid display in front of fans at Lawson Tama Stadium.
A goal in the first half from Commins Menapi and two second half goals from teenage sensation Judd Molea and Gideon Omokirio was all the senior boys could hand to a resilient U23 side.
Menapi was fouled inside the penalty box by Kossa and U-23 defender Eddie Kairi and match referee Nelson did not hesitate pointing to the penalty spot. The O-League golden boot winner easily slotted
the ball past Shedrack Ramoni to give his side the lead as they went out for the halftime break.
Senior head coach Airton Andrioli had to make a couple of replacements in the second half and it paid off as the senior boys found their rythmn.
Molea’s goal came much later in the second half from spot kick. Jack Samani who came in as substitute was tackled from behind by Solympic’s Mahlon Maemania resulting in the penalty being awarded to
Molea had no difficulty finding the back of the net before Omokirio extended the lead when he climbed above the Solympic defenders to nod home a free-kick from David Taro Jr.
The Solympics grabbed their consolation goal at injury time from Naha’s striker Lawrence Fonaota.
Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) has named a competitive squad to engage the senior international team as their preparations for the XIII South Pacific Games continue.
Honiara will be skippered by former Football Kingz and Solomon Islands veteran international striker Batram Suri for the one off friendly at Lawson Tama Stadium.
Honiara coach Matai Vave is confident that his squad will provide a stern test despite having just one session together.
Suri will not carry the burden of leadership on his own. Also included in the Honiara squad is Youngheart Manawatu defender Nelson Sale who is on the comeback trail after breaking his leg during the
New Zealand Football Championship (NZFC) season with the Palmerston North-based franchise.
The experienced pairing of Henry Koto and Martin Ruhasia give Honiara an experienced edge capable of asking some telling questions of Airton Andrioli’s team.
HONIARA SQUAD: Batram Suri (C), Sebastian Misiga, Hardie Kwasi, Oscar Sara, Henry Koto, Paul Kakai Jr, Peter Taloga, Leslie Kakai, Coleman Mani, Benjamin Mela, Peter Kaukui, Nelson Sale, John Iani,
Berry Qalokale, Martin Ruhasia, Adyka Maeta, Willie Shem, Philip Seda, Jack Kabolo.
COACH: Matai Vave.