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Solomon Islands wrap up successful Netherlands tour

Joses Nawo controls the ball against a VOAB player. Photo: Nathaniel Holland

The Solomon Islands national team have ended their historic, three weeks training camp in the Netherlands with four wins, two defeats, and a draw under the guidance of Dutch legend and Solomon Islands coach Wim Rijsbergen and his assistant Jan Van Deinsen.

Following a 30 hours trip from Honiara, proud Solomon Islander Clive Tuimaka greeted the lads  at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport alongside officials from the Oceania Netherlands Support Foundation who arranged the camp.

A total of seven friendly games were arranged for the team against a selection of Dutch teams from around the country.

A stern tests for the southern hemisphere side, but also an honour for the club teams to be given the chance to pit their wits against a national team.

Following a narrow 1-0 defeat to Dutch Derde Divisie side ADO ‘20 in their opening match, the Solomon Islanders have notched up their first win of the tour with a comfortable 3-1 triumph over  V.O.A.B.

Joses Nawo opened the scoring for the visitors in the 8th minute before Pieter van der Heijden rose with a powerful close-range header in the 19th minute to level the scores.

Solomon Island skipper Benjamin Totori converted from the penalty spot to give his side a 2-1 lead at the break and following a keenly contested second half, substitute Alwin Hou put the result beyond any doubt after finding space behind the defense to chip the ball over the V.O.A.B. keeper the 90th minute.

With their first European tour victory under their belt, the Solomon Islands national team travelled to RKSV BSC Roosendaal the next day to make it two wins in a row.

Despite conceding an early goal to the Vierde Klasse side, the Pacific Islanders drew level through young striker Raynick Laete.

Striker Andrew Abba came on at the half time and quickly put the visitors ahead before another substitute Dennis Ifunaoa rounded off the scoring to seal the 3-1 victory.

Three days later the tourists have claimed a 3-2 win over  their strongest opponents AFC Amsterdam at Sportpark Goed Genoeg.

The Dutch third division defending champions took an early lead before Joses Nawo fired home from long range, closely followed by another effort from distance from Benjamin Totori to put the Solomon Islands ahead.

The hosts responded instantly to make it 2-2 in the 29 minutes, but Nawo continued his scoring form with the match winner 10 minutes from the end of the first half.

Wim Rijsbergen’s troops have recorded their fourth consecutive win with another 3-1 victory against J.E.KA two days later.

Like in previous matches, the Solomon Islanders conceded first in the 23rd minute before finding an equaliser, this time through Gagame Feni who tapped  in from close range to keep the scores level at the break.

Feni grabbed his brace in the 62nd minute followed by another goal from the in-form Nawo to cap the win.

The visitors were somewhat unlucky  to concede a late goal to go down 3-2 to RCL Leiden two days later.

The hosts took the lead in the 32 minutes before Feni’s response at the end of the firts half.

Joses Nawo made it 2-1 with his fifth goal of the tour in the 54th minute but RCL drew level moments later and the hosts scored a third to claim the victory in the 84 minute.

Solomon Islands have ended their Dutch tour  with a hard-fought 1-1 draw away to UDI ’19 in an entertaining game in Uden.

Two terrific first-half goals, the first from Solomon Islands skipper Benjamin Totori, and an equalizer from Raoul Oomen preceded a second half in which the tourists have dominated but couldn’t find a winner.

It was the first time the Solomons drew a match in the Netherlands, following four wins and two defeats since arriving in Europe.

Rijsbergen’s men have gained valuable experience during the training camp before heading to Asia for a  friendly against Singapore on June 8.

Ends

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