Uncles to face Koloale in Solomon's Super 8 soccer championship final
It was semi-finals night with Makuru taking on Koloale and Uncles against Marist. Two former O-League representatives against the rough, young and rugged outfits of Koloale and Uncles. It was the Uncles fans who turned out in numbers, trumpets, a chant and all.
The atmosphere was slightly dampened when the first semi-finals between Makuru and Kola'ale went into extra time, both teams locked at 2 all and eventually to the spot kicks. To add to the fanfare, the floodlights suddenly went off and the whole stadium was cast into darkness. The fans never seemed to let the mood die as flashlights went on, mobiles started ringing, cameras flashing and a fervent "power, we want power" chant broke the silence.
Makuru vs Koloale
Makuru went into the breather with a goal advantage. Veteren Batram Suri scoring from a free-kick. Koloale returned in the second half determined to get a goal and were rewarded with a penalty when John Iani was cited by the referee for handball in the area. Richard Anisua drew the teams level with a well taken penalty. Makuru appeared all out of sorts as it tried to regain its advantage only to fall behind when it failed to clear and Henry Koto laid off a brilliant header to Oscar Sara who made no mistake from a tight position. Then the hunting fray began, Makuru for an equaliser, Koloale falling back on defense and countering. Time and time again, Makuru persisted and finally found an equaliser in injury time when a perfect cross found George Lui in the area. His window of opportunity closed fast so he passed off to Reginald Afia who made no mistake from close range. In extra time, both teams missed opportunities that would have won the game, none more so then Paul Kakai and George Lui who both misfired in front of goal.
By the time Makuru's Nelson Sale stumbled and missed his penalty, Makuru knew they were losing their grip on a trip to the final. And as Shadrack Ramoni had done all afternoon, his brilliant save from a Ben Kunua penalty sealed Makuru's fate.
Uncles vs Marist
This was the game, fans had flocked to watch. After waiting for 3 hours, the first half was a disappointment as nerves were unsettled and tempers flared. A quick succession of cautions from referee Andrew Moli was enough to quell the situation and Marist were quickest to settle in. Daring runs by Michael Misitana and the constant threat from Joachim Rande was always problematic for George Kwanae and Eddie Ngaitini. George was especially guilty, giving away easy balls and missing crucial challenges. The first half ended goalless.
Much of the same pace and style of football was shown early in the second half. Uncles were desperately losing control in the midfield and Judd Molea's attempts were always met with a flurry of desperate attacks. Junior Billy had the best chance early on in the half as he collected a through pass and misfired over the cross bar. It would appear as the game would be headed to extra time when Michael Misitana was crudely brought down in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Misitana stood up to take the spot kick but a well-timed save by the keeper kept the game safe for Uncles.
The real drama began in extra time when Uncles midfielder Michael was brought down in the area. Judd Molea coolly slot the penalty past Fred Hale and Uncles were suddenly brought to life. Brian Feni entered in place of injured Temoa and immediately changed the pace of the game. Uncles began a series of onslaught which finally saw them dominate the game. With the ever present Iannie and his silky moves, Uncles were always threatening. Within a span of 5 minutes left in extra time, Uncles went 3-0 ahead. Both goals were results of brilliant work and classic Uncles football. Shot passes, straight running and well taken shots from Gibson Daudau & Loea Aaron sealed the victory for Uncles FC.
Source: A simple game blog