The Henderson Eels have claimed their maiden S-League title in the Solomon Islands.
Henderson hammered Southern United 8-0 at Lawson Tama Stadium in their penultimate match of the competition on Wednesday to lock up the trophy with a round to spare.
Joses Nawo and Raphael Le’ai both scored hat-tricks as they continued their impressive seasons, while striker Augustine Waita added the other two goals.
Nawo leads the competition’s Golden Boot standings with 35 goals, while the 17-year-old Le’ai is only two behind.
Eels coach Eddie Marahare was pleased with his side’s ability to go one better after they finished second last season.
“For me, as a coach, I am confident in what I have been doing with the team, especially how the players respond in training and in our matches, which shows that we are champions of the league this year,” he told TSL Media.
“I think for any coaches in the Solomon Islands winning the [S-League] is one of the main objectives.”
After 19 matches in the 11-team league, the Eels have accumulated 50 competition points with 16 wins, two draws and a lone defeat.
The Eels will wrap up their 2020-2021 campaign on Sunday, against the team they have taken the championship mantle from.
“We still have a game left in the league and the boys will not take the game lightly because Solomon Warriors were the defending champions and we have to prove to them why we are the champions this season,” Marahare said.
The Warriors have also enjoyed a strong season and will end the competition in second regardless of Sunday’s result; they beat Honiara City FC 5-0 in yesterday’s other mid-week fixture.
Meanwhile, Auckland City FC will be without striker Logan Rogerson for Sunday’s ISPS Handa Men’s Premiership grand final against Team Wellington in New Zealand.
The 22-year-old has signed a deal with an undisclosed European club and is heading offshore.