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Le’ai optimistic to lead race
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12 September 2018
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Solomon Islands striker Raphael Le'ai takes the penalty shot for his second goal against Papua New Guinea.



CURRENT OFC U-16 championship leading goal scorer and Solomon Islands deadly striker Raphael Le’ai is optimistic to extend his golden boot tally this afternoon.

Solomon Islands will take on New Zealand at 3pm this afternoon in a must watch game. The winner of this match will determine which team tops the pool.

Le’ai told Star Sports in an interview on Tuesday, stressing with the current team spirit, he is optimistic to stretch his tally for the golden both race as well as to get maximum points over their opponent this afternoon.

“I am optimistic to extend my tally in this match,” the star player who scored four goals against Papua New Guinea (PNG) in their 5-0 victory on Sunday.

“However, New Zealand will be a hard nut to crack,” he added, but insists nothing is impossible.

 “We are ready for this match.

“Our team spirit is firm and all the boys knew the importance of getting positive result in this match,” he said.

Le’ai also stressed, after playing their first international match in front of the home crowd against PNG in their opener, they boys are now settling in well for their second match and the rest of the competition.

“We started slow in our opener against PNG as it is our first time to wear the national jersey in this code.

“But that experience has prepared us well for this rest of our matches in our campaign with an objective to create history for the country to reach the FIFA World Cup for the first time,” he added.

 Meanwhile, two finalists of this championship will represent OFC in next year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru.

Prior to Solomon Islands and New Zealand match set for 3pm this afternoon, Vanuatu and PNG will kick off today’s action, 10am.

By CROFTON UTUKANA

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