The Solomon Islands national futsal team have finally found the back of the net in a friendly match against professional Liga 1 side Caja Segoviea in Spain but their two goals did not prove enough to secure a win.
The Kurukuru, who are in Spain for an 11-day training camp, went down 5-2 to Caja Segovia, but showed massive improvement on their first Spanish friendly against second division side Carnicer Torrejon.
The expectation was for a straightforward win for the home team but the Kurukuru proved they were no easy beats with a determined showing.
Head coach Dickson Kadau commended his players for their performance, saying they are now playing in the manner they are expected.
“I belive we could have won this game given how the boys played but we did not put away our chances. But I am happy with how the boys played today,” Kadau says.
“They have the right attitude and determination and I am particularly pleased with their communication on the court and their marking.
“At the same time there are some weaknesses which we need to work on such as the number of fouls committed, effective finishing, and anticipation of attacks, and players must learn to pass to a teammate if they cannot score. However, generally I feel that the team is moving in the right direction and picking up for the World Cup.”
Caja Segovia took the initiative as they pressured the Kurukuru in search of early goals. Jose Lozano threatened with the first shot of the match but it went safely wide. However, Borja Molino made sure the home side took the lead with his strike in the fourth minute.
The Kurukuru regained some control as the first half proceeded but their options were limited as Caja Segovia kept a tight hold on the reins. There was some promise for the Solomon Islanders with worthy attempts coming from Samuel Osifelo and Jeffery Bule but unfortunately for the visitors Eduardo Padilla extended the home team’s lead to 2-0 in the 14th minute.
The half-time break injected some life into the Kurukuru who returned to the court with purpose, putting pressure on the Spaniards in a bid to get on the score sheet.
However it was the home side who put away two more goals through Lozano and Padilla before the Kurukuru got their first break in the game.
A perfectly-crafted free kick from Coleman Makau allowed Moffat Sikwa’ae to send the ball into the back of the net.
Caja Segovia were quick to reply with Lozano scoring his second form a penalty foul, however the goal did little to dampen the Kurukuru’s spirit.
They added their second goal through some fine finishing from Osifelo after he was set up by Sikwaw’ae with a quick pass into the box following a counter-attack.
While the final score was in favour of Caja Segovia, the Kurukuru certainly made their presence felt displaying some superb attacking play and giving management a clear indication that the players are moving towards the World Cup with purpose and confidence.
Caja Segovia is one of the top Spanish futsal clubs, playing in the premier division since 1989. Last season they finished fourth and are currently sitting seventh on the league table.
Next in line for the Kurukuru is a friendly against European champions and former world champions Spain. The match will take place in Guadalajara, north-east of Madrid on Saturday.
For more on Solomon Islands football go to www.siff.com.sb