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2010 OFC Futsal Championship - Day Four Review
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 04:18

The OFC Futsal Championship has passed the half-way point today with the Solomon Islands and Fiji starting to pull away from the rest of the field.


futsalwireBoth sides hit nine points following Fiji’s 6-2 win over New Caledonia and the Solomons’ 8-3 drubbing of Vanuatu. They sit three points clear at the top of the table, with the Kurukuru ahead on goal difference, while New Zealand are the next best team with six points from three matches.

It was a slow start to match day four as Tahiti and New Zealand played out the first goalless half of the tournament before the Futsal Whites came through 2-1 winners by the end.

The last minute victory, thanks to Brazilian-born pivot Lucas Silva, followed on from their equally dramatic win over Vanuatu the day before.

“We seem to be a team that refuses to lose,” said coach Matt Chandler, speaking after the match. “We defend well, we defend with our hearts and attack with purpose.”

Goal hero Silva echoed these sentiments saying the team has gelled well despite having only been together for around 8 weeks.

“There is a really good spirit within the team. We never give up we try until the last minute, the last second, and that’s what worked for us yesterday and today.”

In the second match of the day, Fiji started slowly against New Caledonia going into the break 1-1. But as the game opened up in the second period the hosts capitalised scoring another five to make it 6-2. Captain Kamal Hassan, who scored a brace of goals, says keeping their unbeaten record was a boost but admits there is a long way to go.

“We are happy we’ve got three wins but our hardest games are still to come. New Zealand tomorrow and then it’s the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu,” said Hassan.

“We hope the fans continue to come out and support the team to give us the extra lift we need.”

It has been the Solomon Islands drawing the most supporters to Vodafone Arena, particularly students from the University of the South Pacific (USB).

Kurukuru forward Jack Wetney, who scored two goals in his side’s 8-3 victory over Vanuatu today, says the fans have been brilliant.

“The atmosphere is something else I can’t explain it. We definitely feel at home here.”

Leading goal scorer Micah Lea’alafa was the other star on day four with his well-taken hat-trick but Wetney says it was a team effort.

“Elliot coudn’t play but all the boys stepped up to get the win. We’re a young side but at the same time we have more experience compared to the other teams. We have been on overseas tours and that has helped us. Overall we’re just really confident at the moment.”

Match day five will see New Zealand play Fiji first up before Tahiti take on the Solomon Islands and finally New Caledonia and Tuvalu will go out to seek their first points in the tournament.


08/08/10 17:00 Tuvalu Vanuatu Vodafone Arena 1-7

08/08/10 18:30 Solomon Islands New Caledonia Vodafone Arena 9-2

08/08/10 20:30 Fiji Tahiti Nui Vodafone Arena 2-0

09/08/10 16:30 Vanuatu New Caledonia Vodafone Arena 5-4

09/08/10 18:30 Tuvalu Tahiti Nui Vodafone Arena 0-4

09/08/10 20:30 Solomon Islands New Zealand Vodafone Arena 8-4

10/08/10 16:30 New Caledonia Tahiti Nui Vodafone Arena 2-3

10/08/10 18:30 Vanuatu New Zealand Vodafone Arena 2-3

10/08/10 20:30 Tuvalu Fiji Vodafone Arena 1-5

11/08/10 16:30 Tahiti Nui New Zealand Vodafone Arena 1-2

11/08/10 18:30 New Caledonia Fiji Vodafone Arena 2-6

11/08/10 20:30 Vanuatu Solomon Islands Vodafone Arena 3-8