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Major upsets in day 2 of futsal champs

Uncertainty shadowed kickoff as the dark clouds made sure of their intentions by pouring down a 10 minute shower that practically drenched both courts at the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) academy grounds. Fortunately, the clouds cleared as quickly as they came and the matches went underway.
First up were matches between Malaita and Marist in Group A and and Isabel and Brisolona in Group B held on the north and south courts respectively. Both games resulted in valuable wins for the Honiara based sides but they were hard fought victories.
Malaita registered their second defeat of the championship but they did manage to score at least a goal for their troubles. Marist were in control and they easily got their second 3 point gain for a total of 6 points from 2 matches. Former Makira Ulawa player, Paul Hiri, found the back of the net for Marist as did Gabriel Bosi who made his mark on futsal in the 2010 championship while playing for Malaita. Assistant national coach, Jerry Sam, made sure all points were secured with the first hat trick of the competition. Malaita’s only goal came from David Moses.
Brisolona secured their first win after overcoming Isabel in a closely fought and hot tempered match that saw the first red card of the championship being issued. Stanley Puairana got his marching orders after some unnecessary backchat to the match referee. National futsal captain, Elliot Ragomo, was on the court again for Brisolona but still the Oceania golden boot winner was not able to get any goals. Brisolona’s goals were scored by Matthew Hania, McPhillip Aisa and Robert Laua who got 2 to seal the win. Isabel’s goals came from Stanley Puairana and Samuel Osifelo.
KOSSA took on Guadalcanal in the second Group A match of the day and the result was less than what were hoping for. After leading by 3 – 2 at the break KOSSA allowed Guadalcanal to come back into the game in the second half and they levelled the scores at 4-all to claim a share of the points. Frank Bule scored twice for Guadalcanal and Junior Wane and Joachim Kairi added another 2 to make it 4 for their team. Dickson Ramo got 2 for KOSSA and Micah Lea’alafa and Coleman Makau contributed 1 each. KOSSA may have been hoping for all 3 points but Guadalcanal proved that they are contenders for the knockout stage by holding the former champions level at full time.
The fourth game of the day provided the best entertainment and also the biggest upset in the championship’s 2 year history. Koloale were finalists in 2010 and it was a shock for spectators when they went down 4 – 2 to provincial side Makira Ulawa who had no more than their experience from last year to bank upon. The game was also another hot-tempered affair and Koloale defender, Francis Lafai, was red carded for a challenge on a Makira Ulawa player. Jeppy Gapiara, Brian Taka, Steven Maka’a and Tony Hara scored for Makira Ulawa and Koloale had a double stike from national futsal player Jeffery Bule as consolation.
The results from today have Marist leading Group A with 6 points and Brisolona are on top in Group B with 4 points. Marist have guaranteed their place in the knockout stage with their 2 wins. Brisolona, on the other hand, needs at least a draw to qualify. Tomorrow the chase will be on for the second and third place teams in the Group A and Group B tables as they look to win the first runner-up position and proceed to the semis.
Thursday 23/06 Fixtures:
2:00pm KOSSA v Marist (South Court)
2:00pm Koloale v Isabel (North Court)
4:00pm Malaita v Guadalcanal (South Court)
4:00pm Brisolona v Makira Ulawa (North Court)

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