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Melanesian clash ends on equal terms

Solomon Islands national team have kept their recent unbeaten record away at ANZ Stadium with another one all draw against Fiji last night in Suva.

The hosts started the encounter on the front foot but they could not make amends for their early dominance.

Auckland City midfielder Micah Lea’alafa continues his scoring form at ANZ Stadium with a brilliant goal seven minutes before the hour mark.

The men in yellow held on for a 1-0 lead as both teams went back into the sheds.

Fiji draw level from the spot as Wellington Phoenix striker Roy Krishna converted a second half penalty.

Solomon Islands coach Moses Toata gave credit to his players for executing his game plan as planned.

“We had a game plan to use our counter attacking when we win the ball”, he said.

“So I started the game with Benji, Alwin, Joses, Micah and Atkin leaving a block at the back. We isolate Roy Krishna with Manu man marking him.

“And we force them to push player going forward so when we win the ball, we counter with only 3 players at the back most of the time in the first half.”

Toata added that his team did well in dealing with Fiji’s aerial threat despite conceding a soft goal.

“Their penalty came from a scrappy clearance from a corner and mango dropped the ball that Benji tried to clear resulting in the penalty.

“Generally the boys did well to contain their aerial play especially when they have taller players.

“But personally, I think from the chances we had we still could have finished the game with a win,” he explained.

Fiji captain Krishna said that they were to blame themselves for the result.

He adds that they can perform much better against Singapore.

England based Semi Scott Wara made his debut off the bench for Fiji.

Fiji will now play Singapore next Tuesday in Singapore while the national side return home on Saturday.

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