Like so many other nations in Oceania, the Solomons were overshadowed for a long time by Australia, the region’s undisputed powerhouse until their move to the Asian Football Confederation in 2006. It was Australia who represented Oceania at Chinese Taipei 2004, where they lost all three of their group games. The Solomons, after fighting successfully through the Oceania qualifiers in Suva, Fiji, will be hoping to do better.
In this, the Solomons’ first appearance at a FIFA finals tournament of any kind, they will be relying on the goalscoring ability of Micah Lea’alafa and Elliot Ragomo, who scored 22 goals between them in the qualifying tournament in Suva. Their play is not only about all-out attack, however, and they showed their tactical organization and patience in the crucial qualifying game, a 4-2 win over eventual runners-up Tahiti.
Coach Victor Wai’ia knows that his team will face a very stern initiation in Brazil, but believes that his team has qualities that will stand them in good stead amongst the world’s futsal elite. “We now our team does not have the most skilful individual players, but we play with heart and are very technical in defence,” he commented. “We have ten players on the same level, and this has helped us.”
Micah Lea’alafa, Elliot Ragomo, Jack Wetney
The Solomon Islands claimed first place in the Oceania qualifying tournament in Suva, Fiji, winning five games and losing one. They scored a total of 41 goals in the event, conceding 19.
The numbers game
12 – The number of goals the Solomons scored in their final game of the qualifiers, a 12-0 win over Tuvalu.
Source : FIFA