Monday, 20 August 2007 8:45 AM

National Soccer Team Draw 1-1 with Queensland Roar

The Solomon Islands national soccer team held the much fancied Queensland Roar to a 1-1 draw at Richlands on Friday.

Coached by former Socceroos coach, Frank Farina, Queensland Roar had to dig deep towards the end of the match to settle for a draw.

The Solomon Islands team struck first in the 19th minute of play with a goal from the speedy merchant from Temotu, Commins Menapi. Menapi headed home a pin-point right-wing cross past Roar stopper, Liam Reddy, to take the early lead. The athletic and lively Solomons' side made the Queensland A-League team work hard for every ball.

Queensland's Brazilian import striker, Reinaldo, almost forced an equalizer 20 minutes later but his downward header was denied by Solomons' keeper, Fred Hale. Queensland's Ognenovski headed a corner kick which, had it not been for Hale's instinctive save, would have been a sure goal.

The second half saw the former Socceroos' coach, Frank Farina, make four substitutions. This proved effective with Roar leveling the match in the 48th minute through Ante Milicic's precise finish from 18 meters after some neat individual play by substitute, Simon Lynch.

Speaking to the Brisbane Times Roar coach, Frank Farina, was happy with his team's performance. "We expected a tough game and that's how it turned out. The Solomon Islands were well organised and made it difficult for us but as an exercise, it was certainly useful as far as we're concerned."

The national team is expected back in the country this week, and with the fantastic tour, fans are now refreshed with a new hope of seeing gold in the upcoming Pacific Games in Samoa.

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