December 7, 2023

Solomons fall to Portugal, but deliver “much better performance”

The Solomon Islands couldn’t hold Portugal at bay, but created much more themselves in the second match of the FIFA Futsal World Cup.

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

The Solomon Islands managed to keep Portugal from scoring for about four and a half minutes, but after that the reigning European champions kept the goals coming until the final score read 7-0 to Portugal.

But it wasn’t all bad, as the Kurukuru offered a lot more going forward than they had against Morocco two days earlier.

Head coach Vinicius said he could see that some of the opening day nerves were gone from his players.

“It was a much better performance. The players were not nervous anymore. For eight of them it’s their first World Cup, so they got those butterflies in their stomachs,” Vinicius tells Football in Oceania.

“We created chances and kept possession, we weren’t afraid to play. Not that we were afraid to play in the first game, but we never played against a team that play a 4-0 system, like Morocco, so it’s hard to adapt in the moment.”

The Soloman Islands team prior to the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2021 group C match against Portugal (Photo: Angel Martinez/FIFA via Getty Images)

Alvin Hou was one of the best for the boys in yellow, defending hard and even having a few chances to score for the Solomon Islands.

After the match he was proud of his boys’ performance.

“We all fight until the end of the game, even though the result doesn’t come our way,” Hou said.

“We had chances and we were unlucky.”

Praise from Ricardinho

Portugal captain Ricardinho, considered by many to be the best futsal player in the world, had nothing but praise for his opponents.

“They don’t have the (training) conditions that we have in Europe, so for me, that they are in this World Cup and fight like this after two matches… They saw that they didn’t have the same quality, but they enjoyed themselves,” Ricardinho tells Football in Oceania.

“For me, that’s amazing. I give all support to the players and the staff, I wish that the next World Cup, they can come again and enjoy it with even more experience.”

Thailand on Sunday

Next up is Thailand for Hou and his teammates, in the final group stage match.

“We will play with spirit in that game and hope we can have a good game against Thailand,” Hou says.

Coach Vinicius also expects a good performance from his boys. He hopes they may be able to do what they did against Guatemala in 2012, and win a game.

“We’ve lost two battles, but we still have one left. We want to add that second World Cup win to our curriculum, but we know it’s going to be tough. We want to finish on a high, whether we draw, have another good performance or even win,” Vinicius says.

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