All hopes for the Solomon Island National U19 soccer team, Mamula to advance further and finish top of the Oceania U20 championship dashed after they conceded a 3-1 defeat to the determined New Caledonian side on Tuesday in Suva.
The Mamula boys did have high hopes of going through prior to that match but the New Caledonians showed no mercy for them as they slotted home three goals, two of which were unanswered.
New Caledonia proved more determined to win the game breaking the deadlock 12 minutes into the first half followed another two in the 81st and 87th minute.
The Mamulas brought back some pride when Atkin Kaua slot home their first ever goal of the competition a few minutes from the start of the second half.
Again as seen through live updates from the OFC website, the contributing factor to their defeat is the finishing part which they lack from the start.
It was supposed to be a must win match to allow the boys the chance of qualifying for the World Cup next year.
Prior to the game the team’s assistant coach Gideon Omokirio said the team must win its final three games to have any chance of qualifying for New Zealand 2015.
“This was an important match for us and we had to win,” he said.
However, it was a disappointing match for the boys who failed to show their class before a good number of local supporters mostly local students at the ANZ stadium in Suva yesterday.
New Caledonia broke the deadlock 12 minutes into the first half, despite the Mamula boys controlling the match from the kick off time.
The score forced the boys to maintain their defence, while applying pressure and continue to bombard the New Caledonian goal mouth.
However, most of their shots just went wide or into the hands of the goal keeper.
New Caledonia on the other hand also worked hard to shut off their opponents from advancing into their territory and goalmouth.
Both teams went for a break and return with full strengthen and trying to invade each other’s territory.
The Mamula boys having a goal down fought hard in a bid to regain some confidence.
And it did paid off in the 66th minute when Atkin Kaua volleyed a rebounce ball into the back of net which puts the crazy local supporters to the top of their voice, reports said.
Locked a one all, both teams went searching for more goals, with good attacks from both teams.
However New Caledonia seeing the need to step up their fight had to make more substitutes. The inclusion of more fresh legs have paid off with New Caledonia making a strong comeback to penetrate the Mamula’s territory which saw them scoring two final goals in the 81st and 87th minute.
Coach Commins Menapi prior to the match has vowed to address the problem of poor finishing at the front but it seems due to the lack of time, the team could not fulfil their promise.
Reports said the match was dominated by Mamula but lacks finishing which cost them dearly.
The remaining matches will be seen as a chance of regaining pride from their non-impressive performances.
Meanwhile the Mamulas has two more matches against American Samoa and Fiji but all wins for these two matches will not give them any green light of advancing any further.
Hosts Fiji is the only team that has the high chance of finishing top following three consecutive wins since the start of the competition.
On Tuesday Fiji beats Papua New Guinea 3-0 to remain on top of the table.
In the final match last night Vanuatu was leading American Samoa 4-0 before this edition went to press last night.
By CARLOS ARUAFU