Solomon Katukatus came fourth in OFC under-12 Soccer festival in Fiji
After Saturday's impressive results, the boys topped group B ahead of favourites, New Zealand's Canterbury. Going into the semi-finals saw the games become more intense as Fiji 1 were up against Canterbury whilst Solomons were placed to play United Soccer 1 of New Zealand in the second semi-finals.
Melanesia neighbours, Fiji 1 managed to beat Canterbury by 1 goal to nil while the Solomons were narrowly beaten by the eventual winners, United Soccer 1 by 2-1. This set a strong grand final match between Fiji 1 and United Soccer 1 late yesterday afaternoon.
At the end of the tournament, United Soccer 1 of New Zealand claimed the trophy by beating Fiji 1 a goal to nil. Solomons were later beaten in the 3rd place palyoffs by Canterbury.
But all teams had a reason to celebrate at the conclusion of the inaugural OFC U-12 Festival of Football in Ba, Fiji. The four-day celebration of Oceania culture and football drew to a close yesterday with all teams in high spirits. The handshakes, hugs and pats on the back between participants were more heartfelt at the conclusion of the Festival as all teams came together in a visible display of the friendships that had been formed in Fiji. The scenes continued at the team accommodation where players swapped shirts, shorts, and whatever they could lay their hands on before an impromptu pool session.
New Zealand's United Soccer 1 who won the final match of the Festival to take the inaugural title has directly qualified for the Danone Nations Cup in France in September 2006.
The Danone Nations Cup is the major International Cup for children aged 10 to 12, giving over 2.5 million children the opportunity to take part in an international tournament and to develop their passion for football and skills in the game. The children will experience and share the emotions of an international sporting event, recognized by FIFA and the national federations, and founded on team spirit and the sense of fair play.
Despite the lucrative reward available to the winning team all participants will have lasting memories of the 2006 OFC Festival of Football.