The Kurukuru put up a brave fight against one of their greatest opponents to date but European champions Spain overpowered them to take a 9-0 victory over the visitors.
The match was played in Guadalajara, north-east of Madrid, in front of a sizeable crowd who had turned up to witness history being made.
For the Kurukuru this was the final friendly in Spain before they wrap up their training camp and head to Thailand for the FIFA Futsal World Cup.
Spain were on top of proceedings from start to finish and while the Kurukuru struggled to find an answer to the Spanish attack, in the second-half they managed to find their feet and display some of the skills and pace already well known to their Oceania opponents.
Head coach Dickson Kadau was disappointed by the scoreline and says his players could have achieved more during the match.
“We started really slowly today and basically gave away the first half. In the second half we played much better and showed our capabilities, but I do not feel like we played at our best level,” Kadau says.
“However, I wish to congratulate the players for their bravery in the game. It is difficult taking the court against a class team like Spain but I think the boys stood up to the occasion and this is important to us.”
The hosts made use of the Kurukuru’s slow start by getting on the scoreboard as early as the second minute. As the Kurukuru’s determination wavered, Spain struck six more times to work up a 7-0 lead by half-time. The Solomon Islands best first half effort was a long-range shot from James Egeta which found the target but did not trouble the Spanish goalkeeper.
Following a strong exchange in the dressing room, the Kurukuru returned to the court a different side in the second half.
Playing with greater confidence, they managed to keep the ball from the Spanish players for significant periods, however Spain’s defences remained unbreakable as the visitors possession amounted to nothing on the scoreboard.
A plus for the Solomon Islanders was managing to keep the second half scoreline to a minimum with Spain finding the back of the net only twice during this period. However of concern for the Kurukuru now is the health of their captain Elliot Ragomo who sustained an injury midway through the game. A full report on Ragomo’s injury is yet to be made available but he was in obvious discomfort after the match and walking with a limp.
This is not the news the Kurukuru management is looking for as the team has already been hampered by the suspension of three key players prior to the Spain tour.
“We will monitor Elliot closely and hope that his injury is not as severe as initially thought,” Kadau says.
“He is a key player in this team and we cannot afford for him to miss the World Cup.”
The Kurukuru will leave Spain on Monday for Thailand, where they will play two friendly matches against Thailand and Australia. Their first game at the World Cup is against Russia and they will play Colombia and Guatemala in their second and third matches respectively.
For more on Solomon Islands football go to www.siff.com.sb