Solomon Football > News > OFC U20 Championship 2011 New Zealand > Mamula win friendly against Koloale

Mamula win friendly against Koloale

Koloale did not have their best team since a number of their players including Jeffery Bule and Steve Saru were playing with the national U-20 team but still they had more than enough firepower for their supporters to hope for clear win.
The first 10 minutes of the game did not go well for both sides as they struggled to find the early goal but it was Koloale who looked like registering the opener save for some last gasp defending from the U-20 defenders.
However, the U-20s worked their way out of their situation and broke the deadlock with brilliant goal from forward Dennis Ifunaoa but the architect of the goal was Futsal pivot, Jeffery Bule, who delayed his pass until he saw his partner’s advantage.
After their goal the U-20s again lost concentration and the experienced Koloale side put 2 and 2 together and soon equalised when Joses Nawo displayed some of his class by beating off several defenders before finding the back of the net.
With minutes left before half time Koloale had their chance to steal the lead when they won a penalty but Henry Fa’arodo’s attempt was tapped towards the goalpost by the U-20 keeper and the follow up from Nawo went agonisingly wide.
The second half saw a more organised performance from the U-20 training squad with better coordination of their attacking and defending moves coming from the midfield duo of Leonard Rokoto and Jeffery Bule.
The injection of Saru also helped greatly as he was able to send in some good crosses from the right.
One of his crosses almost went in after Chris Tafoa connected to it a powerful header but the ball hits the post and the Koloale defenders were able to make the clearance.
Koloale had chances to equalise at the other end and despite some fine efforts from Benjamin Totori and Lency Saeni the U-20s were able to keep them at bay.
The winner came with 15 minutes left to play and again Saru was part of the ploy setting up substitute Paul Hiri for a clear pass to the unmarked Hudson Felani who finished with a powerful shot from inside the penalty box.
Koloale fought strongly to get back in the game in the remaining minutes but could not equalise as the match drew towards its end and despite making some late substitutions the U-20s were able to hold on to their slender lead to win the match.
U-20 head coach, Noel Wagapu, says that he is very satisfied with the performance of the players but a lot of work still needs to be done.
“This is our first friendly match against an opponent like Koloale and the boys have done well and I thank them for their efforts,” Wagapu says. “However, it is clear from this game that there are more than a few things which we need to correct.”
One of those things Wagapu says is for players to understand their roles clearly during moments of transition.
“Koloale were able to reach our goal area with only a minimal number of passes during counterattacks and we need to guard against this. The players need to switch between attacking and defending with more ease and efficiency.”
The U-20 training squad will play a combined Bilikiki (national beach soccer team) and Kurukuru (national futsal team) side in their second friendly match scheduled for next Saturday at Lawson Tama.
KOSSA played out a nil-all draw against Marist in the first friendly match played earlier in the afternoon.