14 Feb 2016

Sport: Solomons Futsal team crowned OFC champs and World Cup-bound

11:08 am on 14 February 2016

The Solomon Islands will head to their third FIFA Futsal World Cup after a 5-0 victory over Fiji on the final day of the 2016 OFC Futsal Championship underlined their class and confirmed their berth.

The Kurukuru captain Elliot Ragomo said the team was so proud to be going off to Colombia to represent Solomon Islands, Oceania, and each of the nations' who took part in the OFC competition, which was staged in Suva.

The Kurukuru made a clean sweep of the tournament, scoring 23 goals and conceding just three.

Consistent performances saw the competition individual awards scooped by Solomon Islanders too, with Ragomo taking the coveted Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament.

Goalkeeper Anthony Talo's was awarded the Golden Gloves and George Stevenson the Golden Boot for leading the tournament with five goals.

The Solomon Islands are crowned 2016 OFC Futsal champions.

The Solomon Islands are crowned 2016 OFC Futsal champions. Photo: OFC

Coach Juliano Schmeling said he was so happy for his players and the management.

The coach said the week had been unbelievable, the players amazing and he was happy to be part of the historic occasion.

It will be the third consecutive Futsal World Cup the Solomons will attend, not progressing past the first round in their first two attempts.

Earlier the day opened with Tahiti and Vanuatu both vying for third position on the podium.

It was the Tahitians who came out on top courtesy of quick strikes either side of the halftime break leading to an eventual 5-2 victory.

Tahiti coach Jacob Tutavae said while the bronze was not what they had targeted, they were pleased to at least go home with medals.

Meanwhile a 4-1 victory for New Zealand over New Caledonia saw them secure the silver medal.

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