‘It’s not yet over’: Waita

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BY ROMULUS HUTA

SOLOMON Islands under-16 head coach Stanley Waita was impressed with Wednesday’s 5-0 win over New Zealand but insists that their campaign in the OFC Under-16 Championship is still halfway.

Speaking to the local media in the post-match conference at Lawson Tama Stadium, Waita said they are taking one game a time and the focus now will be on their next match which is Vanuatu set for this Saturday.

“This is a big winning margin for the team.

“I’m very impressed with the team’s performance.

“Like I said, we take one game at a time. The match against New Zealand is done and I’m excited,” Waita said.

The former national rep admitted that the advantage they have with the home turf gave them chance to come out with a positive result.

“We have all the advantage. When we come up against New Zealand we have the advantage with the conditions at Lawson Tama which is the heat and our game plan is to go all the way forward.”

Waita explained that they have made good use of their speed during the encounter it paid off.

“We try to play positive football and rely much on our counter attacks which is our main weapon. We made good use of our speed and that paid off today.

“The match against New Zealand is over and we aim for the semi-final. We have to forget this match and prepare forward for the remaining matches where Vanuatu is our next opponent.”

Waita stressed that they cannot rely on the result of the New Zealand game to give them what the likely outcome at the end of the tournament will be like.

“We cannot rely on the result of this match to bring us the likely outcome after the end of the tournament.

“We have to take one game at a time and have to play Vanuatu next, and then the semi-finals. At the moment, we have to forget about the semifinal and the game against Vanuatu.

“Our focus now will be on Vanuatu which is an important game itself in this campaign,” Waita said.

The head coach expressed great appreciation for the good cheering shown by the home supporters.

“I’m impressed with the good turnout of supporters for this match. I’ve called for supporters to come out and they did. Supporters are the 12th man in our match today and I wish to thank them all for supporting.

“Final call is for supporters to come and keep on supporting. Your support really boosts the morale of the boys to keep on playing harder by giving them extra energy to go extra mile in their performance. There are times where our home crowd sometimes turn the other way. But today, it’s different and I’m pleased that they turned our way by cheering behind us until the final whistle,” Waita uttered.

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