Malaita are U-20 champions

It was a win that they fought hard for against a quality Choiseul side that at times threatened to take the game away from them.
After already registering several false moves into their opponent’s penalty box Malaita scored in the 7th minute through Jeffery Bule who chested down a cross from Ian Paia before shooting to the roof of the net.
A few minutes later Paia almost got himself on the score sheet in a one-on-one situation with Choiseul goalkeeper, Peter Kiriau, but his shot hit the upright and went out for a goal kick.
Choiseul tried to equalise but the Malaita backline was more organised than they were in their semi final match against Isabel the previous day and they gave little to their opponents to play with in the first half using their superior height and size to good effect against their smaller opponents.
The second half was a more balanced affair and Choiseul could do a little more inside the Malaita half than they could in the first half.
Dennis Ifunaoa and Coleman Makau both had chances to equalise early in the second half but their attempts went agonisingly wide.
Malaita knew that their 1 – 0 lead was not safe and they continued to look for chances to put the game away and Primo Mike answered that call with his headed goal in the 57th minute which sent their supporters in the crowd into roars of joy.
The final say in the match went to Choiseul in the form of a penalty which they won with 10 minutes left on the clock but, unfortunately for them, James Egeta’s shot was tapped towards the goal post by the Malaita goalkeeper and the follow up went wastefully wide.
Choiseul refused to let their misfortune hold them back and they continued pressing for an opener until the final minute when match referee, George Time, signalled the end of the match.
It was a remarkable performance from the Charles Irobina coached side who worked hard and maintained their togetherness to come this far and claim the title.
Match officials: Referee – George TIME; Assistant Referee 1 – John NIABO; Assistant Referee 2 – Bernard MUTUKERA; Fourth official – John IROMEA
Malaita: 1. David LAFAI (GK), 3. Fanai KOTI, 2. Ricardo WHITE, 5. Johnson SELWYN, 8. Moses SAENI (c), 11. Junior LEVI, 10. Terry BROWN, 12. Primo MIKE, 15. Francis LAFAI, 18. Ian PAIA, 13. Jeffery BULE Subs: 1B. George IKA, 6. Benuel NENO, 4. Steward RAMO, 9. Jack JETHRO, 9. John AKO, 17. Solomon MISIMAKE, 14. Paul FERA’ANISIA
Coach: Charles IROBINA
Choiseul: 1. Peter KIRIAU (GK), 5. Dennis IFUNAOA, 16. Moffat SIKWA’AE, 3. Ian SIDA, 6. George STEVENSON, 11. Coleman MAKAU, 13. Augustine SAMANI, 14. Jeffrey RITI, 8. Himson TELEDA, 10. Elliot RAGOMO, 7. James EGETA Subs: 15. Jackson AKWAI, 9. John MISITANA, 17. Dickson RAMO, 4. John SONNY, 18. Ben HIBISCUS, 2. Matthew SANGA
Coach: Eddie RUKUMANA
Goals: 13. Jeffery BULE [MAL] 7’; 12. Primo MIKE [MAL] 57’
Cautions: 13. Jeffery BULE [MAL] 25’; 18. Ian PAIA [MAL]37’; 13. Augustine SAMANI [CHO] 41’; 7. James EGETA [CHO] 45’; 9. Jack JETHRO [MAL] 72’; 6. George STEVENSON [CHO] 90’
Expulsions: Nil
Award winners:
Overall winner: Malaita $20 000 (incl. 26 gold medals and trophy)
Second place: Choiseul $10 000 (incl. 26 silver medals)
Third place: Honiara $6000 (incl. 26 bronze medals)
Fourth place: Isabel $4000
Fair Play award: Honiara $2000 (inc. Fair Play trophy)
Player of the Tournament: Michael Boso (Honiara) $1000 (incl. Player of the Tournament medal)
Golden Boot award: Paul Hiri (Honiara) $1000 (incl. Golden Boot Medal)

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