Benjamin Totori on fire in New Zealand Football Championship
Bouncing back from their 1-0 loss to Waitakere last weekend, Manawatu romped to the win to stay within three points of the west Aucklanders. Waitakere is leading the table with three points ahead of Manawatu and it also has other influential Solomon players in the likes of Commins Menapi and George Suri.
Reports from New Zealand revealed that the Solomon duo, Alick Maemae and Benjamin Totori, who played that game as twin strikers tortured Waikato throughout the 90 minutes, creating constant chances and they were lethal in front of goal.
The scoring started in the 20th minute when Benjamin Totori scored the first of his double as the game started to open up. Waikato responded swiftly with Brad Scott equalising just two minutes later, but it was shortlived as Manawatu began to take control of the match.
In the 24th Trent Watson headed home a corner from Alick Maemae to put Manawatu back in front, a lead they never looked like giving up. Hayden Laird scored nine minutes before the break as Waikato is guilty of ball watching as Totori weaves his way through the defence before laying the ball off to Laird who strikes home unopposed from just inside the box.
In the 57th minute, Maemae's effort from 18 yards is only parried by Dan Robinson into the path of Ian Robinson who stabs home from an acute angle to make it 4-1. In the 60th minute, Robinson turns provider crossing to Totori in space who volleys home his second from 14 yards giving Waikato keeper Dan Robinson no chance.
The game was sealed beyond doubt in the 79th minute when Ian Sanbrook adds to the home sides misery after good interplay between Totori and Robinson carves up the Waikato defence and Sandbrook with only the keeper to beat rifles home from 12 yards to make the final scores at 6-1.
Waikato is also known to have the services of another two Solomon Islanders, particularly Godwin Bebeu and Stanley Waita.
Manawatu will now look to Oceania's executive meeting on Wednesday to see whether or not a second New Zealand side will compete in the Oceania Champions League in 2007. If so, Manawatu have a chance to ousting Waitakere from top spot if they can defeat Canterbury United next weekend and hope Waitakere go down to Otago United in Dunedin.