Maemae and Totori doubles move Solympic closer to Beijing with 5-0 thumping of Vanuatu
Tagged as the match of the day at Lautoka's Churchill Park, Solomon Islands knew pretty well that they must overcome Vanuatu in order to keep their Beijing dream alive.
In a warm balmy evening in Fiji's sugar city of Lautoka with a start up small crowd, Solomon Islands commenced the onslaught into Vanuatu's territory just as the anthemns were concluded.
It took 38 minutes which saw four yellow cards and a near miss on the crossbar for Vanuatu's Joseph Nimariau before Solomon Islands broke the deadlock through a brilliant shot by Alick Maemae in the 39th minute that gave Vanuatu's keeper Kalnasei no chance. Solomons maintained the 1-0 lead until half time.
The Solympics second goal came in the 55th minute through a superb left foot shot by golden boot contender Benjamin Totori. As Vanuatu were about to fight back, they received further blow with the loss of their number 17 player (Geoffrey Lego Gete) through two yellow cards resulting in a red.
Solomon Islands made use of the chance and slotted a third goal in the 62nd minute through Totori to take his tally to 10 goals in just three matches. In the 73rd minute, Solympics were up again with an emphatic strike from Joses Nawo to make it 4-0 to Solomon Islands.
It didn't take long before Maemae wrapped up his hatrick of goals in the 75th minute to make it 5-0 in favour of the Solympics after scoring directly from the corner.
As spectators leave Churchill Park, the talk of the moment now is that the winner of the OFC U23 qualifying tournament in Fiji will be determined by the upcoming Solomon Islands match with New Zealand on Friday.