3 Sep 2005

Solomons soccer team meet Australia in World Cup qualifier

9:09 am on 3 September 2005

The Solomon Islands' national soccer team is confident heading into today's world cup qualifying match against Australia in Sydney.

Soccer is the number one sport in Solomon Islands and international matches there have seen a significant proportion of the nation's population turn out to watch, deserting even church services.

Today's match is the first leg of the qualification contest for the Oceania soccer region.

It'll be the Solomons' last such game against the Socceroos as Australia is leaving the Oceania soccer region, to become part of the Asia zone.

The Solomon Islands captain Batram Suri, speaking from the team hotel in Sydney, is looking forward to taking on Australia's big names, including fellow striker Middlesbrough's Mark Viduka.

"We have nothing to lose, we really want to come and play against the big name players in Australia, so yeah, we've just come to play against them."

Mr Suri says people in Honiara are very much looking forward to the return leg match there next week.