The Solomon Islands futsal team faced a hard battle today when they took on the world number one side Brazil in a friendly match as they wind down their preparations for the FIFA Futsal World Cup starting Saturday.
Although the score-line finished with an 18 goal margin, the Kurukuru did their country proud as they rubbed shoulders with some of the best players in the world, including Alessandro Rosa Vieira, also known as Falcao.
Brazil-born Kurukuru coach Juliano Antonio Schmeling knew the game would be a challenge but was excited for the huge opportunity the match was for him and his team.
“It will be an honour to play against my own country,” he said prior to kick-off.
Although the top team dominated the match, the Kurukuru had bursts of possession and some close attempts on goal.
Captain Elliot Ragomo and Auckland City FC’s Micah Lea’alafa both had attempts on goal in the first half but the Brazilian goalkeeper proved his place in the best team in the world, pulling off back-to-back saves.
Jeffery Bule attempted to catch the Brazilians off-guard in the last minutes of the game with an attempt from halfway, but was unfortunate to hit the crossbar.
The Solomon heroes battled to the last whistle and although the game ended with an 18-0 result, the team walked away proud to improve on their 21-0 loss to Brazil in the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2008.
The Kurukuru hold their heads high as they approach the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2016 with experience against the highest ranked team in the world confident that they have prepared themselves for the competition as best as they could.
For more on Solomon Islands football visit www.siff.com.sb.