Monday, 30 July 2007 10:59 AM

National Soccer Team Beats Solympics

The Solomon Islands National Soccer Team beat a well spirited Solympics side 3-1 at the Lawson Tama Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Airton Andrioli fielded a full strength side to meet the Under-23 side. Benjamin Totori and James Naka played their first friendly after missing out in the first two.

Solympics put up a strong performance to concede only one goal in the first half. The two late goals came into the second half. The national team ended the game with three goals, two came from penalties taken by Menapi and Judd Molea, the third came from an indirect free kick from Omokirio. Lawrence Fonaota's solo run registered the only Solympic's goal of the game.

Andrioli is pleased with the step up but says that there is time to improve on team work and familiarizing each other on pitch. The second half replacements for the national team were more in tune to the game plan, giving more stability in the key positions on the pitch.

Solomon Islands are the favorite to win in their pool alongside Melanesian rival, Vanuatu. The real test will come if they meet Fiji or Tahiti or New Caledonia in the semi finals.

The next friendly match will be against a versatile Honiara side which includes former national players and current members from the Airton Andrioli's 40 man squad last month. Coach Matai Vave will guide the selected side and Batram Suri leading the Honiara select team on Saturday.