Vila Times

Solomon Islands preparing to strike back

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Tomorrow, September 5, the second leg of 2018 World Cup Qualifiers OFC Stage 3 Final will take place at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara, where Solomon Islands will try to take revenge against New Zealand after an embarrassing big loss in Auckland.

Solomon Islands coach Felipe Vega-Arango Alonso, though, is not very optimistic, and keeps talking about the gap between his amateur team and New Zealand.

“The gap between both teams is easy to see. But so is the gap between Oceania football and European football,” Vega-Arango Alonso said.

“In the Solomons we’re trying hard to fill up that gap creating youth leagues and coaches, things like that. But it’s going to take time.”

“I have to make sure the players recover properly, both physically and mentally. They are human beings, they’re down and they weren’t expecting a result that was so big in the first leg,” Solomons coach said.

All Whites are travelling to Honiara light with just 16 players, including late call-up Moses Dyer.

As we reported earlier, in the first leg in Auckland New Zealand secured itself a very convincing advantage for the second game with Solomon Islands, winning 6-1 in quite a one-sided game. All Whites captain Chris Wood, recently signed by Burnley, scored twice before half-time and completed the hat-trick with a well-placed free kick close to the end of the game.