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Solomon Islands downed in opening encounter

The Solomon Islands performed well against their first non-Oceania opponent since 2013. Credit: AWBG

The Solomon Islands Bilikiki were beaten 8-5 by European heavyweights Italy in their opening match at the World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar overnight.

Robert Laua and Roy Mafane each notched a brace while Max Fa’ari also got on the scoresheet.

It was tightly contested match despite the Solomon Islands having only recently returned to training after taking a break following their second place finish at the OFC Beach Soccer Nations Cup in June.

Italy led from the outset going 3-1 up in the first period. The second period saw the Bilikiki narrow the gap to 6-4, before the Italians pressed hard in the final period to secure the 8-5 victory.

Coach Gideon Omokirio said it was a good hit out for the side in their first match against a non-Oceania side since 2013, adding that there were many positives to take from the game ahead of their next encounter against Spain.

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