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TSL Championship semi finals preview

Interestingly the four sides to take the semi final places are also the top clubs in the league which makes for double eye watering contests at Lawson Tama. Western United were the first to go through despite only finishing level with Malaita Kingz in their tie but the home-and-away goal rule gave them extra advantage. KOSSA put down Hana by 8 – 3 on aggregate to qualify while Solomon Warriors were too good for Marist Fire winning both their home and away matches by 3 to nothing for a total haul of 6 – 0. Koloale were humbled by their 1 – 1 draw with Real Kakamora on Sunday but their 7 – 1 win in their away clash was enough to see them through.
First up is the clash between two giants of the local football scene, Koloale and KOSSA, at 3:00pm on Wednesday. Both clubs have already represented the country in the O-League and both have reached the final, KOSSA in the 2007/8 season and Koloale matched that feat in the 2009/10 one. The two sides are also tough rivals and their match up is anticipated to be a close one.
Koloale, of course, have the upper hand, especially considering their fine performance in the league. Their line up is intact for the match but questions surround Ian Paia who limped off the field in their last 2 matches. KOSSA will be missing key defender Michael Sira who is serving suspension but on the plus side they will have Tome Faisi back.
So what would each side need for a win? For Koloale maintaining their game plan will be the challenge. If they can hold this up then they can score goals and this will be crucial for them. They have the pace and the quality to win but it does not guarantee them anything tomorrow. KOSSA’s main task will be to break down Koloale’s game plan. As has been exposed this season, Koloale can struggle if their normal playing structure is closed down and this will be something KOSSA will certainly be looking to cause. That said, this match could go as far as the penalty shootout and this is where things can slide in any direction.
The second semi final will take place on Thursday and features Solomon Warriors against Western United who barely made it to this stage. Solomon Warriors, on the other hand, were in command in their group playoff.
Solomon Warriors are clear favourites to take the contest home. They have a vastly experienced side with players of the quality to get the job done. Carrol Kakate was on fire against Marist Fire on Sunday and a repeat performance from him could be devastating for Western United. Their backline has also become a more organised unit as the competition proceeded and will almost be impenetrable.
Western United have lost some of the form that saw them win the hearts of spectators in their league matches and they will need to improve rapidly if they want to challenge the rolling Solomon Warriors. However, Western United have the capable mastermind of coach Stefan Metanolmski who has been an excellent strategist with the club this season.
Solomon Warriors are favourites for the second semi final but Western United will certainly be hoping that they can do everything right for a win on Thursday. It will be a huge challenge for them but it is the finals and anything can happen.
Spectators interested in witnessing the finals are asked to take note of the fixtures below:
Semi final 1: Wednesday 3pm Lawson Tama Koloale v KOSSA
Semi final 2: Thursday 3pm Solomon Warriors v Western United
Entrance fees are $40-00 for the grandstand and $10-00 for adults and $5-00 for children for hillside sitting.

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