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Dominant Victory In Game Two Propels Solomon Islands Towards Securing A Spot At The OFC U-16 Men's Championship

Published: Tue 16 Apr 2024 04:32 PM
Solomon Islands have taken a big step forward in qualifying for the OFC U-16 Men’s Championship, after a resounding 9-0 victory against hosts Tonga, to remain unbeaten at the tournament.
Reminiscent of their first match, the Solomon Islands went swiftly on the attack and immediately found themselves with a goalscoring opportunity. Ashley Kwaimasia was fouled in the box giving captain Kennedy Sihiu a chance from the penalty spot. But he couldn’t convert with his shot hitting the crossbar, the clearing header then fell to the feet of Patty Kenimoi, he too was denied by the post.
Sihu may have missed minutes earlier, but he quickly made up for it. His curling effort from just inside the 18-yard box nestled into the back of the net, giving his team a 1-0 lead at the 6th minute mark.
Then, Jimmy Lebon who starred in the opening match against Papua New Guinea, was forced off early, his replacement Junior Sese then made an instant impact. With his first touch of the ball Sese produced a delightful through ball for his captain, who put the Solomon Islands ahead 2-0 after 26 minutes.
Speed and skill, the Solomon Islands U-16 side had a wealth of it, as their relentless pressure had Tonga scrambling on defence. After an attempted clearance by the hosts, the ball fell perfectly for Kwaimasia, his left footed shot giving Sioeli Fifita no chance in goal. Making it 3-0 for the Solomons.
After restart, the Solomon Islands didn’t take long to find their rhythm and another goal. Great defensive work in the middle of the field gave Solomon Islands forward Kwaimasia the chance to counterattack. He put a ball on a plate for Sese who drove into the box before unleashing a powerful strike, rewarding his side with a fourth goal after 49 minutes.
Despite a lack of possession and facing a barrage of attacks, Tonga were still in the fight. A long-range effort from Tevita Falepapalangi caught Solomon Islands goalkeeper Alick Hale completely off guard, as the Tongan midfielder’s shot floated on to the crossbar.
But the Solomon’s responded with a silky attack of their own, which to the dismay of the home crowd resulted in the fifth goal for the Solomon Islands. Kwaimasia beat the final defender with a deft turn before chipping the goalkeeper. Four minutes later, the talented striker would complete his second hat-trick of the tournament, after beating an on-rushing Gordon Li.
The floodgates had well and truly opened for the Solomon Islands, with a wonder strike from Kenimoi making it seven, before Carlwin Wane got in on the action, smashing home the teams eighth, after Tonga failed to clear their penalty area.
The tournament’s top goal scorer continued to add to his tally, his fourth goal of the game came in the 74th minute, as the Solomon Islands exploited a fatigued Tonga side. To the hosts credit they avoided any further punishment by staying resolute in defence for the final quarter of the match.
The Solomon Island’s remain unbeaten and now just needed a solitary point in their final clash against American Samoa to secure their ticket to the OFC U-16 Men’s Championship in Tahiti in July. As for Tonga, they seek redemption against Papua New Guinea on Friday.
Tonga: 0
Solomon Islands: 9 (Kennedy SIHIU 6’, 26’, Ashley KWAIMASIA 32’, 59’, 63’, 74’ Junior SESE 49’, Patty KENIMOI 67’, Carlwin WANE 69’
HT: 0-3

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