AFTER weeks of waiting, the day has finally arrived to witness the Solomon Islands national men’s football team taking on the Papua New Guinea (PNG) national side in the first of two friendly matches.
This match will kick off at 3pm today at the Lawson Tama Stadium.
Hundreds of football fans and supporters are expected to witness today’s friendly match.
According to Solomon Islands coach, Moses Toata it’s a win-win situation for both teams as they will use this friendly matches as preparations for the Nations Cup due to kick in May.
“My primary task is to get the squad prepared for May.
“For me it is a very important step in terms of our preparation
“To have these friendlies is a plus in terms of preparations,” he said.
Solomon Islands is equipped with six overseas based players, the likes of Micah Lea’alafa, James Naka, Nelson Sale, Freddie Kini, Joses Nawo and Gagame Feni.
Together with the home based players, Solomon Islands is expected to put on a tough contest against the visitors today.
The PNG coach, Flemming Serritslev reiterated saying this match will help him identify areas needed to address before the Nations Cup.
He said they chose Solomon Islands for the friendly match since they believe it will be a boost to their preparation.
“I heard that Solomon Islands is a tough contender, are very skillful in football and have fast players, that’s why we opted to have friendly matches.
“Also it’s good so we can see if we can withstand the pressure in front of a huge crowd.
“It’s when we have matches like this we can measure our progress,” he said.
The PNG squad comprises of mostly young players, many of whom were breed from the U23 team who played in last year’s Pacific Games.
Meanwhile security will be tough all throughout the match.
By CARLOS ARUAFU