Joint domestic league golden boots Tigi Molea and Gagame Feni have been included in a 25-strong Solomon Islands national men’s squad for next month’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ OFC preliminary competition, which includes 14 international newcomers.  

Despite not being able to play outside of the Solomon Islands in recent times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group is bolstered by the international experience of Micah Lea’alafa, Raphael Le’ai and Alvin Hou, who played for the Kurukuru at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™. 

Between them Mola and Feni netted 28 goals in the Telekom S-League competition last year and they’re joined by another domestic star in goalkeeper Philip Mango, who played a key role in Central Coast winning the S-League title last season. 

Molis Junior Gagame, Junior David and reigning S-League Player of the Year William Komasi are the only  players who remain from the Solomon Islands squad which qualified through to the final of the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament against New Zealand in 2019. 

COVID-19 protocols in place in the Solomon Islands right now mean the national team is training in groups of five ahead of moving into a centralised camp before they depart for Qatar later this month.    

The Solomon Islands will take on Tahiti, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands in Group A of the qualifying tournament.  

Solomon Islands squad for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ OFC preliminary competition 

Goalkeepers: Philip MANGO (Central Coast FC), Harold NAUANIA (Waneague United), Junior PETUA (Honiara City). Defenders: Javin WAE (Central Coast FC), Haddis AENGARI (Solomon Warriors), David SUPA (Isabel United), Leon KOFANA (Henderson Eels), Prince TAHUNIPUE (Henderson Eels), Junior DAVID (Honiara City), Iani LAGWAI KALU (Waneagu United), Ronny MANI BUTALA (Waneagu United). Midfielders: Micah LEA’ALAFA (Waneagu United), Don KEANA (Waneagu United), Molis Junior GAGAME (Solomon Warriors), Tigi MOLEA (Solomon Warriors), Jerry DONGA (Solomon Warriors), Alvin HOU (Solomon Warriors), Carlos LIOMASIA (Real Kakamora), Gagame FENI (Kossa FC), William KOMASI (Central Coast FC), Atkin KAUA (Laugu United). Forwards: Joses NAWO (Kossa FC), Ali MEKAWIR (Waneagu United), Adrian MARA (Henderson Eels), Raphael LEA’I (Henderson Eels). Coach: Felipe Vega-Arango