MATCH REPORT: UDI ’19 vs Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands ended their friendly tour of Holland with a hard-fought 1-1 draw away to UDI ’19 in an entertaining game in Uden.

Two terrific first half goals, the first from Solomons’ striker Benjamin Totori, and the equaliser from Raoul Oomen, preceded a second half in which the Solomons dominated but couldn’t find a winner.

It was the first time the Solomons drew a match in Holland, following four wins and two defeats since arriving in Europe.

Totori scored a superb goal to put his team ahead in Uden. Photo: Nathaniel Holland.

UDI started the game strongest, and should have taken the lead but striker Sam Wassenburg’s header was straight at goalkeeper Philip Mango.

The home team edged closer to an opening goal, as the impressive Roald van Hout headed and volleyed over on seperate occasions, while also having a low shot saved by Mango at his near post.

The Solomons capitalised on their opponent’s wastefulness, when Totori demonstrated terrific skill to dribble through the UDI defence and angle a powerful shot past keeper Nick van der Horst.

Nearly five minutes later, the scores were level, as midfielder Oomen timed a perfect volley from outside the box, which zoomed under Mango who couldn’t halt the powerful effort.

In a friendly game shortened to 70 minutes due to the intense heat, the first half finished 1-1 after 35 minutes.

In the second period, Totori went close twice, from a fierce strike that flew marginally wide, and later from an effort which was miraculously saved by van der Horst low to his right.

Joses Nawo runs with the ball in midfield. Photo: Nathaniel Holland.

Wim Rijsbergen’s side were also perhaps unlucky to not have a penalty, after Joses Nawo was prevented from shooting inside the box.

The Solomons – keen to finish their tour with a win – made an impressive late charge, but were denied first through Gagame Feni’s blocked shot following a terrific move, and then Totori who struck the crossbar from long-range.

Dennis Ifunaoa also went close, but the winger’s shot was well saved by van der Horst, before full-back John Aeta had the game’s final effort- a speculative drive which was comfortably dealt with by the UDI goalkeeper.

It was the last game for the Solomons before their long trip to Singapore, who they play in Kallang, as final preparations get underway before this summer’s Pacific Games.

UDI ’19: 21. van der Horst, 2. Koca, 5. Smits, 6. van Lankveld, 7. van Geelkerken, 9. Wassenberg, 10. van Hout, 11. Oomen, 15. Kerkhof, 18. Verhoeven, 22. Hofmeijer.

Substitutes: 31. S. Verhoeven, 3. Willems, 19. Toonen, 20. Heijmans, 23. de Klijn, 24. Meulink.

Solomon Islands: 1.Mango, 2. Aengari, 3. Peter, 4. Pride, 8. Taroga, 9. Totori, 10. Donga, 11. Feni, 13. Aeta, 14. Nawo, 18. Laete.

Substitutes: N/A Maerasia, 6. Rarangia, 7. Kaua, 16. Poila, 17. Ifunaoa.

MATCH REPORT: RCL Leiderdorp vs Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands suffered a frustrating defeat in their penultimate game on Dutch soil, losing 3-2 to RCL Leiderdorp, despite creating plenty of opportunities.

Wim Rijsbergen’s men recovered from conceding the opening goal to eventually lead in the second half after Gagame Feni’s two strikes.

Kai Vijlbrief, a substitute for the home team, swung the game back in his side’s favour with two smart finishes to seal victory, as the Solomons failed to make the most of their dangerous attacks.

Both sides began the match brightly, although the Solomons looked the most exciting going forward, but Benjamin Totori, Dennis Ifunaoa and the impressive Feni all couldn’t convert chances after good build-up play.

Jerry Donga started the match for Wim Rijsbergen’s team. Photo: Nathaniel Holland.

After half an hour played, RCL pounced and took the lead when striker Remy Libbenga took the ball past goalkeeper Timothy Maerasia and slotted in confidently.

Just moments later, the forward could have put his team further in front, but somehow, he fired over from close range.

Shortly before half-time, the Solomons got the goal they deserved, when Feni rounded the keeper himself, before scoring for the second game running.

Gagame Feni scored twice for the second successive match. Photo: Nathaniel Holland.

After the break, Feni gave the Solomons the advantage they deserved, dispatching a terrific shot low into the corner.

With the Solomons keeping possession well, there seemed to be no threat of an RCL equaliser, but it arrived only five minutes later following an electric counter attack which was well finished by Vijlbrief.

Rijsbergen’s side – no strangers to mounting comebacks so far this tour – peppered the RCL goal, but were unable to find the net, despite constant efforts from Totori and Feni.

Kaua missed the best opportunity of the match following a quick break, but couldn’t control his finish after Totori’s set-up, despite the goal being wide open.

Ifunaoa was millimetres away from a goal too, clipping the post after Atkin Kaua’s smart free kick was played short.

RCL capitalised again on their opponent’s lack of clinical finishing and took the lead with seven minutes remaining when Vijlbrief collected a loose ball inside the box to power in the winner.

The Solomons’ final flurry was not enough in the end, as Feni shot over the bar in what was a disappointing result from the Solomons in front of goal.

RCL Leiderdorp: 1. Beij, 2. de Kroon, 19. Blijleven, 4. Slotje, 5. de Boer, 10. van Bemmel, 6. S. Overduin, 8. Schouten, 7. Libbenga, 11. Brasker, 9. Wijnalda.

Substitutes: 17. Nonkes, 16. de Ridder, 14. L. Overduin, 12. Vrijbrief, 13. de Groot, 15. Glasbeek.

Solomon Islands: 12. Maerasia, 16. Poila, 3. Peter, 6. Rarangia, 4. Pride, 7. Kaua, 10. Donga, 11. Feni, 17. Ifunaoa, 18. Laete, 9. Totori.

Substitutes: 1. Mango, 21. Tutu, 2. Aengari, 5. Boso, 8. Taroga, 13. Aeta, 14. Nawo.