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.