Crucial Wins For Solomon Islands And Tonga On Match Day 2 In Apia
The Solomon Islands have beaten an improved American Samoa 7-1 to keep in the hunt for a place in the semi-finals at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament – Oceania Qualifier in Apia.
The Batram Suri-coached side now have four points in Group A with destiny in their own hands ahead of Tuesday’s final group game against Fiji.
Striker Lorina Solosaia was the star of the show, scoring a first half hat-trick and finishing with five goals for the match.
American Samoa goalkeeper Destiny Kapisi made a string of fine saves, whilst substitute Lela Waetin scored her side’s first goal of the tournament late in the second half with a beautifully composed finish with her right foot, finding the left-hand corner of the net.
The American Samoa side had a limited preparation for the tournament, but with a game under their belt were much improved from the 10-0 opening day defeat by Fiji. Forward Morgan Patea and captain Aailyah Tu’ufa in midfield were dangerous and created several half-chances.
The Solomon Islands eager to boost their goal difference pushed players forward in the second half. It took them 13 minutes to add to their tally when Almah Gogoni latched onto a superb cross from Pegi across the six-yard box to beat Kapisi and tap into the goal.
After Patea blasted over the bar for the American Samoans, Solosaia grabbed her fourth 18 minutes from full time. Two minutes later she had her fifth and best of the match, an audacious shot from an angle 30 metres out lobbed Kapisi into the top right-hand corner of the net. Jemima David completed the Solomon Islands scoring in the 82nd minute before Waetin struck her consolation goal.
Solomon Islands: 7 (Lorina SOLOSAIA 14’, 29’, 35’, 72’, 74’, Almah GOGONI 58’, Jemima DAVID 82’)
American Samoa: 1 (Lela WAETIN 88’)
Tonga have kept their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals alive after an impressive come from behind 2-1 win over Vanuatu.
All three goals were scored in the first 15 minutes of an absorbing contest in which the Tongan defence while constantly under pressure, held firm as they did in their opening match against New Zealand after they conceded three early goals.
Kilifi Uele’s side recovered from going behind in the 6th minute to a blistering strike from outside the box by Elina Aruvuha to stun Vanuatu who are now out of semi-final contention after a second straight defeat.
Sachi Swift and captain Telusila Vunipola both scored quick replies to rock their opponents.
First Swift capitalised on confusion in the Vanuatu defence to head home the equalisier. Six minutes later Vunipola put Tonga in front with a lovely chip over Netty Kalsau in the Vanuatu goal.
Vanuatu pressed forward in the second half in search of an equalisier but the Tongan defence held firm with Madison Tenifa enhancing her reputation with another strong performance in goal.
Vanuatu: 1 (Elina ARUVUHA 6’ )
Tonga: 2 (Sachi SWIFT 9’ Telusila VUNIPOLA 15’)