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Friday, November 03, 2006

Part-North Malaitan inspires Solomon Bilikiki to unexpected victory at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup

A part-North Malaita youth, Mr James Naka, has been the cornerstone and inspiration of the famous victory by the Solomon Bilikiki boys over the much fancied Cameroon side, during the last game of the opening day of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.
James Naka takes the ball around Cameroon keeper Pascal Mbeyo to score in his side's famous 5-2 victory(

According to reports from the FIFA website, "the Bilikiki Boys caused an upset with a display of beach soccer that belied their embracing of the sport just a few short months ago. By imposing their unrefined yet mightily effective style, the islanders never allowed Cameroon to wrest control of the encounter."
James Naka balancing the ball on his head (

The Solomon Bilikiki through a 4 goal onslaught by the man himself, James Naka, has calmly beaten African Champions, Cameroon with a 5-2 margin.

After the match, even the Cameroonian coach Joseph-Antoine Bell was left shivering by stating that he really does no understand what happened to his players. "They seemed so nervous that they simply did whatever came into their heads. In view of all the chances we had, there is plenty of cause for regret, as we could still have won the game without actually playing well," added Mr Bell.

As might have been expected, it was more a football match played on sand than a bona fide beach soccer encounter. What with two teams prepared to run and run despite the Brazilian heat, the early minutes were particularly frenzied. However, all that changed in the fifth minute when, one on one with the Cameroonian goalkeeper, James Naka flicked the ball over his opponent before scoring into an empty net. It was a fine goal and one which will go down in history as the Solomons' first at the finals of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

At the first break, with his side by then two behind, Joseph-Antoine Bell read his players the riot act. The former international goalkeeper urged his players to fight back and above all demanded greater defensive discipline.

But the rest of the match was to follow pretty much the same pattern as the opening twelve minutes. Although the Cameroonians did their level best to impose their own more aerial style on the proceedings, the Oceania champions lost none of their effectiveness. Moreover, in James Naka, they possess a first-rate striker who, as well as scoring all five of his team's goals, looked dangerous every time he touched the ball.

But in the last few minutes of the game, the Cameroonians finally decided to show why they are known as the Indomitable Lions, with a pair of late goals from Etienne Ngiladjoe and Benoit Eyoum making the defeat a little easier to digest.

"What we've just achieved is so incredible," declared a beaming Solomon Islands coach Eddie Omokirio. "We were unknown a few weeks ago, but beach soccer is allowing us to shine. It really is a dream come true.''

It is understood that James Naka is part Gwaunaoa in Kwara'ae and Falau in North Malaita. Mr Eddie Omokirio who is the head coach and Gideon Omokirio, the captain are also brothers and are part Are'are and Loina Village in North Malaita. As a result we are proud to be able to congratulate our Bilikiki boys for their heroic achievement at an international such as the FIFA World Cup.

In other matches prior to the Solomons game with Cameroon, Argentina beat Nigeria 5-4, Portugal beat Uruguay 5-4, whilst Bahrain defeated the strongly-fancied Italians 4-2.

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