Koloale shake Bonitos

Koloale got off to a powerful start and the Bonito players were left in their wake as they worked hard to deal with the pressure. Led by Ezra Sale and Tinoni Ratu Koloale kept on finding loop holes in the Bonitos defence from the opening minutes and looked threatening throughout the first half.
Less than 10 minutes into the first half Koloale were in front when Francis Lafai curved in a shot from distance that Shadrack Ramoni could not cover quickly enough to prevent from going in at the far post. Lafai’s shot seemed to come from nowhere for Ramoni who did not expect the defender to go for goal from 30 yards out.
The Bonitos tried to regroup and muster something convincing in attack but their front line was not coming together. There were instances in which they appeared to come up with something but that was quickly suppressed by a solid and determined Koloale defence. Whenever Koloale had the ball they were able to quickly transit it forward to their strikers who turned the heat on the Bonitos defence.
Midway through the first half Koloale struck again, this time through national U20 player, Augustine Samani, who found himself in the right position when a clearance header from a corner kick was attempted by a Bonito defender. The ball landed on his foot perfectly and he sent back in a low powerful strike which Ramoni could do little about.
The second half saw a string of changes coming from the Bonitos camp and this was enough to settle the midfield area and turn some heat on Koloale. Benjamin Totori and Michael Fifii exited in favour of Ian Paia and Joe Luwi. Their performance after that was more solid and this time it was Koloale who were forced to defend.
As the game progressed in the second half Bonitos gathered more strength and more chances were being created. However, getting the ball past Eddie Ramo proved to be another challenge in itself. But matters became much simpler when Gabriel Eke was given his marching orders for kneeing Jeffery Bule on the chest.
Bonitos continued to pressure the Koloale defence lines but they continued to keep them frustrated. Joses Nawo was especially effective on the right, after coming in for Bule, on more than one occasion but his crosses were not met properly in front of the Koloale goal. However, one such run by Nawo finally produced a clear scoring chance for Paia who sent in a low shot past Ramo for Bonitos only goal of the game. Several more opportunities came in the dying minutes of the game for the national reps but Koloale held on to their lead to win the game.
Koloale coach, Peter Eke, was ecstatic about the win and said that it is a positive sign for his team as they prepare for the O-League which kicks off in October.
“I am proud of the players in this team for their achievement today. Most of the boys in the team are reserve players but they have been together for a while now and this has helped us play well today,” Eke says.
Commenting on the performance of the national team, Eke said that the team needs more friendly matches for the players to fall in to a game plan that works for them.
“There is a lot of potential in the national side but they still need to fall into a team unit. I do not believe that happened today but a couple more friendly matches will certainly work in their favour,” Eke says.
National coach, Jacob Moli, was philosophical about the loss saying that the Bonitos are on the path to a big competition and every game they play before that is important despite the results.
“Friendly matches serve an important purpose in shaping the final team and our loss today means that we have to make adjustments in our game plan and our line-up. Today, some of our players failed to assume their roles in the overall plan and we need to work harder on this,” Moli says.
“There are certain positives that we can gather from this match, however, especially regarding how our changes in the second half improved our performance. Unfortunately, our finishing was not perfect and this definitely cost us the game.”
The team management is hoping to play several more friendly matches before the team leaves next week.