(Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek. Koloale FC players celebrate a last minute winner in their OFC Women’s Champions League opener against Labasa Women FC)
Koloale FC coach Crystal Bakolo drew inspiration from the bible to help motivate her team during the half-time break against Labasa Women FC in their OFC Women’s Champions League 2023 encounter in Port Moresby.
Reflecting on the 1-0 victory over the Fijian champions, achieved through a last minute winner from star forward and captain Ileen Pegi, Bakolo says she compared the two teams to David and Goliath when addressing the players at half-time.
“Coming into the changing room I was talking to the girls about David and Goliath, with regards to our sizes, the Fijians are really tall, they have their size, so I said hey it’s not over, Goliath is still there, but you David you have to give it a go,” Bakolo remarked.
And give it a go Koloale did. Despite a number of players struggling with injury niggles, the Solomon Islanders fought until the end and Bakolo felt they always had a goal in them.
“Anything can happen in the game and I knew the goal could come. It brings the confidence out of the players,” Bakolo said.
Pegi, in combination with her fellow forwards Heidy Ericliufai and Agnes Gitoli, were a constant threat and the experienced captain felt their understanding of each other’s role was crucial.
“We have played together for five years so we know exactly how we are playing. It’s overwhelming to score a goal, and get the three points and I’m excited for my teammates.” Pegi said.
Koloale FC next face Samoan side Kiwi FC on Monday.