By CARLOS ARUAFU
THE much waited historic international friendly match is set to kick off at 4 pm at the Lawson Tama Stadium this afternoon.
Solomon Islands Women's U-19s will take on the Westfield Junior Matildas of Australia in a historic friendly match at Lawson Tama today.
This is a historic event as it will be the first Australian team to visit and play a match in the country after the men’s Socceroos way back in 2005.
Today’s match is vital for both team’s preparations for their respective upcoming tournaments, the Young Matildas for the AFC competition and the country’s U19 team for the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) U19 women’s championship later this year.
The Young Matildas coach Rae Dowaer said their focus is to continue work on the aspects of their game.
“It’s a bit warmer than Vanuatu and definitely a lot of humidity which is great for us, that’s exactly what we wanted in terms of our preparation.
“The focus is for us to continue to work on our aspects of our game that we are looking to develop,” she said.
Solomon Islands U19 coach Patrick Miniti understands how competitive the Junior Matildas are however he is confident it will be a good match that will give many positives for both his coaching team as well as the players.
“We know where we stand in terms of competitiveness but the results do not really matter.
“What’s more important is the experience gained from this match.
“Our players will for the first time play against one of the top women’s junior football teams in the World, this will be a very new playing environment for our players and that’s a positive for us.
“We are looking forward for a good game against the Junior Matildas and hope to learn more from this match,” he said.
The Westfield Junior Matildas have visited Tonga and Vanuatu and are here for their third match as part of their Pacific Step Up football tour.
They had a first-up 6-0 win over the Tongan U19 Women in Nuku’alofa and defeated Vanuatu 13-0 in Port Vila on Monday.
This tour has been made possible through a partnership between Football Federation Australia, the Australian Government and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of the ‘Pacific Step-Up’ and the Australia Pacific Sports Linkages Program.