Photo Credit: OFC Media via Tonga FA

A 6-0 win against American Samoa has secured Solomon Islands a place at the OFC U-16 Men’s Championship which will kick off in Tahiti in July.  

Leading 3-0 at half time, the Solomon Islands added three more goals in the second half to cruise to a comfortable victory.

The Solomon Islands wasted no time getting into the lead, scoring the opener in the second minute of play when captain Kennedy Sihui fired an excellent shot into the top right corner. 

The early dominance of the Solomon’s was clear as they dominated possession and looked to break through the American Samoa defence, with Steward Apaniai, Ashley Kwaimasia and Patty Kenimoi enjoying further chances at goal. 

A second Solomon Islands goal arrived in the 16th minute. American Samoa gloveman Alvin Talataiga saved a Kwaimasia shot low to his left, but Junior Sese was there to stroke the ball home on the rebound. 

While opportunities on goal continued to come for the Solomon’s, the American Samoan side grew into the game and started to be more competitive. The isolated Samupengi Talasinga up front continued to work hard looking for opportunities as they launched a few promising attacks on the Solomon Islands defence. 

More impressively, the Solomon Islands attack was kept mostly at bay for the rest of the first half, in contrast to earlier games against Papua New Guinea and Tonga where the Solomon’s reached a three-goal lead earlier.

However, deep in first half added time, the Solomon’s did get their third. Sese found himself in clear space in the penalty error, and confidently finished into the bottom left corner to make the scoreline 3-0 at the break. 

The second half began with renewed energy from the Solomon Islands, with Kenimoe looking particularly dangerous on the left flank. Kwaimasia went closest in its early stages, smashing a powerful shot against the crossbar. 

Then in the 58th minute, Kwaimasia made no mistake and made it 4-0 to the Solomon’s with a very tidy goal. After clipping the ball past Talataiga with a small but crucial touch, he then deftly directed it into the bottom right corner for his eighth of the tournament.  

With the Solomon’s looking confident, American Samoa retreated into their shell, unable to get any breakaways of note and often packing the penalty area with bodies to limit opposition attacks. 

Kwaimasia capped off a strong performance with a fifth Solomon’s goal of the day, before being substituted off for Kenton Feni. Sihiu slipped it through, and once again Kwaimasia was cool with the finish and tucked away to make it 5-0. 

Substitute Allen Makana added the sixth as the match entered the last ten regulation minutes. Apaniai did the hard work with an accurate low cross, and while the ball passed Feni by, Makana was unmarked in space to provide a simple finish. 

The scoreline ensures Solomon Islands finish the tournament with an outstanding record of three wins, 30 goals for and no goals against in OFC U-16 Men’s Championship- qualifying.

Solomon Islands will join New Caledonia, Samoa and hosts Tahiti in Group B of the OFC U-16 Championship.

Solomon Islands: 6 (Kennedy SIHIU 2’, Junior SESE 16’, 45+3′, Ashley KWAIMASIA 58′, 69′, Allen MAKANA 81′)

American Samoa: 0

HT: 3-0