Kurukuru narrowly lost this week with 3-4 to Goias Futsal Club in Goiana, Brazil.It was their second to last practice match before they kick off the FIFA Futsal World Cup against Cuba on September 30 and many positives can be taken out of the performance.
Solomon Islands got off to a perfect start in the opening minute after captain Elliot Ragomo received the ball in the back half of the court and then evaded all defenders before rocketing a shot past the goalkeeper. It was a superb individual effort and made a statement to the professional Goias squad that the boys from the pacific would be no easy-beats.
Kurukuru continued to take the game up to Goias and established a two-goal lead after Stanley Puriana received the ball close to goal from James Egeta and managed to find room enough to score.
Solomons goalkeeper Junior Lioka was at his best throughout the half, frustrating Goias' attacking raids with excellent anticipation and willingness to put his body on the line to protect his goal. Unfortunately for Kukukuru he was unable to stop a close-range shot from Goias late in the half that got the home side back in the game.
The goal eventuated after two Kurukuru players substituted themselves while Goias had possession of the ball and the fresh Solomons boys did not have time to establish their defensive positions.
Coach Victor Wai'ia was pleased with the team's first half performance, but hopes to see further improvement before the World Cup tournament begins. A concern for the coach the beginning of the second half when the team began to stray from their game plan, 'the first fifteen minutes of the second half they weren't playing the way we trained them to play,' said Wai'ia, 'in the last five minutes they were doing it, but we couldn't equalise. One objective was to win the game, the other was to see our training implemented.'
Goias was able to wrestle the advantage away from Kurukuru when it scored two well-worked goals and gained the lead for the first time. To their credit, the Solomons boys dug deep and were able to equalise through Moffat Sikwa'ai after he latched on to a Ragomo pass. Goias though hit back soon after and held the lead until the final whistle.
'It was great for us to play against a professional team and they were very tough, said Ragomo, 'they moved the well around well and had a lot of patience. For us we needed extra strength to hold our lead when we got it. We were a bit tired also after our long trip and all the training that we've been doing. They were the toughest team we've ever played I think. We will learned a lot from the mistakes we made today and we just need the confidence to keep on going to the final whistle.'
Kurukuru were originally scheduled to play Goias again on Saturday but they will instead play another local professional side on Sunday morning.
Press Release (SIFF Media)