By Taromane Martin
SOLOMON Warriors FC temporarily cemented their spot at the top of the 2017 Telekom Soccer League table after defeating defending champions Marist FC 4-3 yesterday.
Gagame Feni gave the Moses Toata coached side the lead 40 minutes of the first half to see them leading Marist 1-0 at the break.
Feni doubled Warriors lead 50 minutes when second half resumed. Marist were left in deep waters after match referee Hamilton Siau sent off Marist defender Joachim Waroi for a second yellow card.
Marist response was a goal, Brazilian import Guilherme Guedes beating Izomo Bird in the 60th minute. Fellow country man Andre’ Ribeiro Morosini leveled the scores for Marist in the 71st minute only to see Gagame Feni completing a hat trick and the lead for Warriors in the 76 minute.
Guedes leveled the score 3-3 for Marist again in 81 minutes into the second half only to see Feni sealing another three points for Warriors in the second minute of additional time.
“We knew going into the match it was not going to be an easy game because Marist are the current champions and have a bunch of good players in their squad,” Coach Toata said.
“Our game plan was to eliminate Fa’arodo (Henry) from their game. If we eliminate him then we will have less job to handle in our defense.
“Although we made a lot of mistakes they also made up for it so I’m pleased with their performances today.
“Although they managed to score three goals today I was pleased with our defense,” he said.
Toata said Marist goals shows there is still a lot to be done defensively he was pleased with other areas of their match yesterday.
“We’ll continue to treat every games as a final because it’s still a very long road ahead. For you to climb up is easy but to stay at the top is another story as everyone wants to be in that position,” he adds.
Meanwhile Marist FC Brazillian Head Coach Juliano Schmeling gave credit to his boys saying it was an equally contested match.
“We played full second half with one man down and we equalized twice so yeah a lot of positives. It was an equal game,” Coach Schmeling said.
“In the first half we made a mistake from the back. Unfortunately it was an individual mistake which can happen sometimes.
“The boys were strong enough mentally to get back into the game. So after Joachim was red carded we got back and kept on fighting again and managed to equalize twice,” he said.
Schmeling however showed hints of disappointment with the match officials in charge of their match yesterday saying referees should be more prepared for such type of games.
“I don’t want to complain but the referees for this level of the game should be more prepared. The games are now getting tougher so the referees need to be prepared for the level of the games,” the Brazilian said.
“I don’t want to take away the win or anything from Solomon Warriors. They are a good team like us. However, the people watching the game can see it that the level of refereeing is pretty bad.
“I don’t want to say it is the referees fault but at this level and type of match you need to have more experience. However we will come back stronger,” Schmeling said.