Photo Credit OFC Media via Phototek

Solomon Islands skipper Elliott Ragomo has ended his decorated Futsal career with his side claiming bronze at the OFC Futsal Nations Cup final in Auckland.

The Solomon Islands have beaten Fiji 5-3 in the third placed playoff with Ragomo announcing to his teammates this would be his final match for the Kurukuru.

Ragomo appeared in four World Cups since his debut in Brazil in 2008 and the 32-year-old is the only Pacific Islander to play futsal in Brazil’s elite club competition.

Fiji had a glorious chance to take the lead in the 6th minute when Bruce Hughes was put through one on one with the keeper to meet but Cliff Sasau made a super save.

Rusiate Matarerega then had a rasping shot which Sasau spilled only for Dave Radrigai’s follow up effort being saved by the Solomon Islands keeper.

The Solomons Islands took the lead against the run of play in the 10th minute through Charlie Otainao who poked the ball past Beniamino Mateinaqara in the Fijian goal.

A couple of minutes later the Fijian keeper denied Otainao before Fiji doubled their lead with an absolute cracker from Elis Mana in the 16th minute. His right footed shot curled off the inside of the far post into the back of the net.

Setareki Hughes almost pulled a goal back for the Fijians a couple of minutes in to the second half but his shot thundered against the post before the Solomons Islands failed to capitalise on a couple of guilt edged chances to extend their lead a minute later.

The Fijians did get on the board six minutes into the second half through Bruce Hughes who bundled the ball past Sasau.

With 10 minutes remaining Mateinaqara made a stunning save to deny Owen Bunabo the Solomon Islands third goal.

Hughes then scored his second to tie up the scores with five minutes remaining. It was a thunderous left footed shot.

Fijian fans were still celebrating when Elis Mana scored his second, a brilliant individual effort less than a minute later to restore the Solomon Islands lead. His hat-trick followed a minute later with a thunderbolt into the right hand corner before Marlon Sia scored in the last couple of minutes to sew up the victory for the Kurukuru.

Fijian captain Filipe Baravilala scored a late penalty for a consolation goal for the Solomon Islands.

Fiji: 3 (Bruce HUGHES 27’, 35’, Filipe BARAVILALA 39′)
Solomon Islands: 5 (Charlie OTAINAO 10’, Elis MANA 16’, 36’, 37’, Marlon SIA 38’)

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