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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Malaita Eagles bite Renbel 9 nil in Solomon Cup match to qualify for semis

The Malaita Eagles soccer team thrashed Rennell Bellona 9 nil in their final pool match yesterday at Lawson Tama to qualify for the Solomon Cup semi finals as the runner-up in Pool B behind Honiara Warriors.
It was a record win for Malaita who ran over a courageous Rennell Bellona side with 9 unanswered goals. Rennell Bellona played one of their better games in the competition but the strike force of Malaita was just too much for them. The plethora of goals also moves Batram Suri to a total of 7 goals ahead of Ben Hibiscus of Choiseul who has 4.

Batram Suri scored the fastest goal of the tournament in the 60 seconds with an easy chip over the Rennell Bellona goalkeeper who had moved too far out from his line. An uneasy 25 minutes separated the first from the second goal where Malaita tried to settle down after going out in front so early. It took none other than Batram Suri to reopen scoring in the 26th minute before the lock to the Rennell Bellona floodgates opened. Four (4) minutes later Kidstone Billy made it 3 – 0 with his solo effort against 3 defenders. Batram Suri scored again in the 41st minute to give Malaita a 4 – 0 advantage in the first half.

Judd Molea scored within a minute of the restart to further Malaita’s advantage in the game to 5 – 0.

Two goals from Kidstone Billy in the 51st and the 52nd minute further demoralised the Rennell Bellona side. Billy, who has struggled somewhat with his form, silenced his critics with a good performance up front beside hitman Batram Suri.

Midfield maestro Alick Mamae scored in the 56th to make it 8 – 0 in Malaita’s favour before substitute Mostyn Beui hammered in the final goal in the 70th minute.

Malaita sit on the second spot behind Honiara who lead the pool with 10 points. They will play Choiseul in the first semi-final match on Wednesday 25th November, 2009.

In another match, Isabel were hoping to avoid the Pool B wooden spoon but their efforts were not enough against Makira Ulawa in both team’s final matches of the competition. Malaita’s rout against Rennell Bellona earlier had ruled both Isabel and Makira Ulawa out of semi finals so both teams were just playing for table positioning.

The initial stages of the match was a fairly evenly played out contest and goals could have come from either side. Jenan Kapu was strong as usual on the flanks for Isabel and he created good opportunities for the forwards who should have done better. Unfortunately for Isabel, Jenan Kapu left the field with a hamstring injury late in the first half.

Makira had been building up their attack quietly and they pounced in the 36 minute with a header from John Anita. Three (3) minutes later Max Menapi fired in scorcher to put his side ahead at 2 – 0.

The score line remained at 2 – 0 when halftime was called.

The second half saw renewed life in the Isabel side as they fought to get back in the game. Gideon Omokirio received some good passes from the midfield but the Makira Ulawa defenders were quick to close him down before he could become dangerous.

The final blow for Isabel came in the 65th minute when Ian Ngahu scored from outside the 18 yard box with a long range effort.

Makira Ulawa move up to 6 points and the third position in Pool B with the win. Isabel settle at the bottom with only 1 point behind Rennell Bellona who have 3 points.

Meanwhile, Choiseul continued their outstanding performance in this year’s Solomon Cup with a 2 – 0 win to wrap up the final match in Pool A of the Our Telekom Solomon Cup. Western could have gone through with a big win but they found themselves at the negative end of the score line.

The game was over in just the first half. Choiseul capitalised on yet another slow start from Western Province to score in the 30th and the 34th minute. Youngster Dennis Ifunaoa, who is one of the stars of the competition, was too fast for the Western backline and he made them pay with a wonderfully placed shot. Veteran Willie Beuka then made matters worse with his left footed strike that should have been saved by the Western goalkeeper.

West tried to retake the game in the second half by upping the pressure on Choiseul’s sometimes faltering backline but they were steady enough to hold them off for their deserved win.

Choiseul’s win moves them to 10 points ahead of Guadalcanal. They will meet Malaita in the first semi-final on tomorrow while Honiara will meet Guadalcanal Hornets.

Source: SIFF

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