Les Cagous, the New Caledonia national football team, is heading to Honiara in the upcoming international match window next month for a series of friendly matches against the Solomon Islands national team.
This was confirmed earlier this week by the Fédération Calédonienne de Football (FCF) in an email by chief executive officer, Olivier Dokunengo. It follows a request made by the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) in August seeking a possible meeting meet in October.
SIFF has revealed that two matches will be played in the friendly series and both will be hosted at Lawson Tama stadium. The first match is booked for October 5 and the second match will take place October 8 within the international match window for the month scheduled from the third to the tenth.
“We are very pleased to announce the two friendly matches between our national team and the New Caledonian national team. New Caledonia is a very strong side so we expect very entertaining football when we meet,” says SIFF competitions manager, Gideon Omokirio.
Both countries are in the third stage of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers so the two test matches will provide invaluable game-time as they look ahead to their first matches in November. New Caledonia are with New Zealand and Fiji and Group A while Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Tahiti are in Group B.
New Caledonia are booked against New Zealand in their first series of home-and-away matches. Solomon Islands are paired up with Tahiti for the away match on November 7 in Pape’ete and the return leg in Honiara on November 13.
Recent records give New Caledonia the upper hand in terms of results with 6-2 and 5-0 wins in their last two meetings with Solomon Islands. They also have a fan base to return to in Honiara following their charismatic performance in the 2012 OFC Nations Cup with stars like Bertrand Kai and Georges Gope-Fenepej.
The Solomon Islands national team has been training in anticipation and the naming of a 22-man squad for the friendly series is imminent.