Solomon Islands National soccer team (Bonito) will have tough assignments to complete as it takes on Fiji and New Zealand (All Whites) this week at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara.
The Bonito squad will battle against their Melanesian arch rival Fiji later on this afternoon as the tournament goes into its fourth day. This game will be a decider on which of the two countries from Pool B will have a place in the semi-finals of the Oceania Nations Cup 2012.
Pictured: The Bonito squad during the game against PNG.
Another match from the same pool will see New Zealand playing against the improved Papua New Guinea (PNG) side.
Last Saturday, the All Whites defeated Fiji and the Solomon Islands Bonito also defeated PNG, both games ended with a score margin of 1-0. Some said that the host played really well against a well drilled Frank Farina side, PNG. It could have been a 3-0 at least if they make use of their scoring chances. This is the first time to see a Solomon Islands side that plays with structure and running off ball, creating space unlike the past teams with a lot of stationary players in the park.
The heat in Honiara was a major problem for the participating teams, especially New Zealand during their game against Fiji.
The Solomon Islands Bonito will be playing against the All Whites on Wednesday 6th of June at Lawson Tama stadium. This game will best be described as a hard-hitting game as both teams will meet again after some years of not playing against each other.
But the game today will be a must win for both teams as the coaches prepare their sides for the tough pool game in front of an expected 25,000 crowd at the venue.
We need to put the result against New Zealand behind us and look towards our next two games. It won’t be easy because Solomon Islands are a good team as well but it will be a different sort of game because the Pacific Island teams do not play the same kind of football. The Solomons have great skill, good control of the ball and play a lot with just one or two touches, said the Fiji coach Juan Carlos Buzzetti
I didn’t see Fiji play in their first match but one of our coaches was there to analyze the game and we will work out together how to play them. We need to make sure we take our opportunities because we didn’t do that as much as we should’ve against Papua New Guinea. I told the players we would need to score early and we did but now we have to work on obtaining more of an advantage once we go in front, said the Solomon Islands technical advisor Laurent Papillon
In Pool A, there is a turn around on the pool standing and also the expectations of those that watched the game after Tahiti defeated New Caledonia yesterday by 4 goals to 3. The match was definitely an eye brow raiser for the spectators at Lawson Tama stadium. A nine men New Caledonia side manages to score three goals after they were down by three after the first half was played.
In the other match yesterday on Pool A, Vanuatu has defeated Samoa by 5 goals to nil.
The pool matches for group A will continue tomorrow at the same venue.