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Monday, May 12, 2008

Kossa's world club championship hopes dashed with Waitakere's 5-0 hiding

Waitakere United will once again represent Oceania at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan after beating Kossa FC 5-0 in the second leg of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) O-League final yesterday at Trusts Stadium in Henderson.

Waitakere turned around a 3-1 deficit from the first leg in Honiara to win the final 6-3 on aggregate and can now look forward to another lucrative pay day and chance to rub shoulders with the world’s elite.

A powerful shower prior to kick off didn’t deter the 3,000 fans who packed the grandstand at Douglas Field though looked to have an effect on Kossa with players losing their footing on the slippery surface on a number of occasions.

After losing the first leg in Honiara Waitakere knew that a good start was imperative and they got just that when Benjamin Totori fired home a left footed drive into the Kossa net in the 8th minute.

Waitakere dominated the early stages of the match with Jason Hayne, Danijel Koprivcic and Benjamin Totori all testing the Kossa goalkeeper.

But it was the set plays where Waitakere looked the most dangerous and in the 25th minute Chris Bale rewarded a series of dangerous crosses when he got the last touch from a Neil Sykes corner to make it 2-0.

Kossa looked the livelier side at the beginning of the second half and their individual flair was evident even on the wet slippery surface.

They nearly silenced the Auckland faithful in the 68th minute when Paul Wale created some room for himself in the Waitakere box before firing a half volley into the top corner, only for Richard Gillespie to make a great sprawling save and maintain his sides lead on the away goals rule.

Waitakere made it 3-0 from another set play in the 72nd minute when Allen Pearce headed home a Neil Sykes corner. The goal looked to suck some life out of Kossa and they were made to pay again five minutes later when Pearce added his second with a well timed volley.

Jake Butler completed the rout with a low side footed drive from outside the box in the 85th minute and sent the Waitakere players and fans into celebration mode.

Kossa can look back on an inspirational O-League journey which has exceeded expectations and has provided invaluable experience for the many young members of the squad.

Kossa coach Jacob Moli was disappointed with the result but proud of his team for the journey they have taken him on.

“We knew they were going to be very dangerous from set pieces and that proved to be a big problem for us.”

“Now we have to re-group and focus on our domestic competition. To our fans I would like to thank you for all your support, it was a great ride for Solomon Island football.”

Source: OFC

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