Wednesday, 7 November 2007 2:29 PM

Beach Soccer: Mexico Beats Determined SI

Despite putting up a great fight, the Solomon Islands Bilikiki lads went down to the more experienced Mexico side, 6 - 3, in their final game of Group A.

Solomon Islands wonder boy, James Naka, made certain that he stamped his authority in the beach soccer code by scoring a hat-trick despite their loss to Mexico.

Knowing their fate was in their own hands after Russia's earlier defeat, Mexico went at their opponent's right from the start. The Solomon Islands had a dream start with an early strike from James Naka.

Despite trailing in the first few minutes of the game, the Mexicans kept their composure, continued to move the ball quickly and were duly rewarded with the equalizer.

Mexico's attacking efforts continued to reap rewards in the second period, with two strikes opening up a two-goal lead.

Mexico then had keeper, Miguel Estrada, to thank for maintaining their advantage on several occasions, but he could do little to prevent Naka from grabbing his second to set up a thrilling last third.

Mexico scored three more goals to seal a 6-3 win and a place in the quarter-finals.
Despite bowing out of the tournament, the Solomon Islands have shown that they are a force to be reckoned with, given the fact that this was only their second appearance.

One must say that the glory days for Solomon Islands beach soccer is yet to come, James Naka is only but a glimpse of the future.

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By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
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