To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Solomon Islands bundles out of SPG Soccer semifinals after 2-3 defeat to New Caledonia

Solomon Islands hopes of claiming Gold in the mens soccer tournament at the Samoa SPG has been struck with a big "Full-stop" after a disappointing 2-3 defeat to 2003 SPG Silver medalists, New Caledonia in the first semifinal match that just finished a while ago.

In a match that was marred with indiscipline from Solomon players saw two red card matching orders to Alick Maemae and Gideon Omokirio in the 68th and 83rd minutes of play. With just nine players trying to fend off the mights of the full eleven New Caledonian team was felt even on the sideline when Solomons Coach Airton Andrioli had to sacrifice his captain and goal scorer Commins Menapi for defender Marlon Houkarawa in the 89th minute.

This even created more problems than solutions as the New Caledonians sensed that this was their best ever chance to take out the game. It paid off for them in extra minutes of play after normal full time when an outnumbered Solomon Islands defence can not prevent Yohann Mercier from slamming home a winner with the final kick of the game.

In what is already a bad start for the Solomons team, New Caledonia only needed 34 minutes before nailing their first goal through Iamel Kabeu. A Judd Molea free kick in the 40th minute found Henry Fa'arodo near the left corner who heads directly into the ground for the ball to bounce over Ounemoa and into the goal for a somewhat come back goal for the Solomons. At half time, both teams were tied at 1-1.

Second half started well for the Solomons when Commins Menapi met a superb Molea free kick from wide on the right with his head, hitting the net just inside the left upright just two minutes into the second half. This sent the much frenzied fans of the Solomons into disarray.

However, their celebration was short lived when New Caledonia hammared home an equaliser in the 54th minute of play through Poulidor Toto to make it 2-2 until the final minutes of play when the New Caledonians scored the winning goal against a nine man Solomon team.

New Caledonia will now battle it out for Gold and Silver when it meets the winner of the second semifinals between Fiji and Vanuatu this evening. Solomon Islands can now only dream of bronze if they managed to beat the loser of the second semi-final match.

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