Football edges closer - Solomon Star News

Football edges closer

13 December 2017
Benjamin Totori in action during the match last night. [Photo: Simon Abana]

SOLOMON Islands men’s football team will compete with Vanuatu on the final day of competition to decide who takes home the gold medal at the Pacific Mini Games.

This is after the national side defeated Melanesian arch rivals New Caledonia 1-0 at the Korman Stadium last night.

Attacking midfielder Atkin Kaua’s lone goal in the first half made the difference in the hard fought victory.

Head coach Felipe Vega-Arango was pleased with the boys’ performances in another clean sheet win.

“I am proud of the players because they worked really hard.

“I think New Caledonia played really hard and against Solomon they always push.

“The game was a high intensity game, very tough so I can’t complain what so ever they did a wonderful job,” he said.

The win makes it three wins and a draw for the national side who are now equal on 10 points with hosts Vanuatu.

But Vanuatu leads with 16 goal difference to Solomon Islands’ 15 only a single goal separating the two nations ahead of the finale on Friday.

“We need to win against Vanuatu because now we’re one goal down.

“We missed a couple goals against Tuvalu which we could have scored.

“But now everything change and we have to win the last game,” Felipe said.

Star Sports understand only 17 players made the trip to Port Vila and Junior Albert was injured in the opening game against Tonga.

Added to the injury list is Jerry Donga who sustained a muscle tear and could missed out of action for at three month.

“We lost Jerry Donga and Boni Pride due to his second yellow card in the tournament,” the national side tactician stated.

The Spaniard insisted that Solomon Islands is by far the best team in the competition but the hosts will give a different challenge for his lads.

Solomon Islands will play Vanuatu on Friday in the gold medal match.

In Port Vila, Vanuatu