September 27, 2023

Solomons suffer defeat in World Cup opener

The Solomon Islands lost 6-0 to Morocco in their opening game of the FIFA Futsal World Cup.

The Solomon Islands team line up for a photo prior to the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2021 group C match between Morocco and Solomon Islands at Kaunas Arena.(Photo: Oliver Hardt/FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The Solomon Islands were quickly on the backfoot in their World Cup opener with Morocco scoring twice in the first three minutes of the first half. A howler from goalkeeper Anthony Talo, where a low shot went trough his legs, saw Morocco take a 3-0 lead into half-time.

In the second half, Morocco kept up the pressure, but solid defending and some good saves from Talo kept them at bay for a long time. But when the final whistle blew, the Africans had added another three to the total tally.

Defense in focus

After the game Micah Lea’alafa, says the early goals was important to avoid conceding.

“We come out here and play against a good side. If you let them score, they’re going to get their confidence,” he tells Football in Oceania in the mixed zone.

“I think the remaining two games we need to defend to reduce the score line.”

Praise for goalkeeper

Head coach Vinicius echoes his player’s thoughts about playing against a good side.

“We wished the result was a little bit better, but the first half was crucial. We conceded two early goals and that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the game,” he says to Football in Oceania.

Solomon Island’s coach Vinicius Laite. (Photo: Shane Wenzlick/Phototek)

Despite making a mistake on the 3-0 goal, goalkeeper Anthony Talo was perhaps the Kurukurus best player.

“It’s always good to have Talo. He didn’t join us for the previous World Cup in Colombia. The players look up to him and he made some crucial saves. The score could easily have been 10-11 to nil if it wasn’t for him,” Vinicius says.

“Yes, he made an individual mistake, but that happens.”

Work to do before Portugal

The head coach knows what he would like to see more of, in the second game against Portugal in a few days time.

“Our first touch needs to improve and we need to try and move a little bit more.”

“Our defense need to be a bit more compact, and we need to try to be a bit more proactive, rather than reactive. If we can focus on that we can maybe get to the ball a bit earlier.

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