New signing instrumental in Warriors victory
BY ROMULUS HUTA
NEW signing Alwin Hou starred as he scored one goal and provided one assist in Solomon Warriors’ 2-0 victory over Marist on Sunday afternoon’s contest of the Telekom S-League.
Hou, one of the new players recruited by coach Moses Toata during the transfer window prior to the start of the season, proved his worth during the opening encounter that was played under Lawson Tama Stadium’s sweltering heat condition.
Apparently, the win yesterday signals a good start toward Warriors’ title defense campaign in the domestic soccer league.
Marist showed up to the match with a relatively inexperienced young side compared to last season’s star-studded group but came out to hold Warriors to a goalless first half.
Things changed in the second spell and Warriors’ Vanuatu imported player Kensi Tangis managed to put his side upfront in the 54th minute when he latched on to a pass from Hou inside the six yard box.
The goal liven things up for Warriors and they appeared dominant in ball possession.
In the 77th minute, Referee Dick Ngota had Warriors midfielder Tigi Molea sent off for an early shower with a red-card for using abusive language.
The red card did not dampen Warriors’ hopes as they bagged one more goal three minutes later in the 80th minute through Hou when Jerry Donga picked up the ball on the edge of the box to drive in between three Marist defenders, before setting up his team mate for a fine finish into an empty goal mouth.
Warriors held on to the 2-0 lead until final whistle.
Speaking in the post-match conference, Toata gave credit to his boys for a well-deserved win.
“I’m very pleased with the win. In fact, before we went into today’s (yesterday) game I told my boys that we must win. I demanded them to win because it is important as being champions, we must start right and they did it.
“Although I’d like to say that it’s not what I expected of Marist, but a win is a win.
“From here, we’ll build on that for our next game. I have seen a lot of weakness exposed in today’s (yesterday) game and we’ll work on improving them before our next match.
“If you watched today’s game, we have a lot of spaces at the back and we’re bit slow in our build up.
“In the second half, I pushed my boys to be more positive with more forward playing and they changed their attitude which resulted in the goals,” Toata explained.
Toata also took the opportunity to congratulate his new players for their contribution in the win.
“To be fair to our new players, I think they did quite well today.
“Alwin did exceptionally well where he actually scored one goal and set up another.
“Robert is one of my new important players and he needs a bit more concentration in his game. At the moment he is with the beach soccer national team and he’s been to and fro and he needs to step up.
“But he’s an experienced player and he finds no problem to gel in with the boys,” he added.
Been one of their rivals last season, Toata admitted that Marist played with a totally different team yesterday.
“With due respect to Marist, they are totally different from last year’s team.
“This year you have seen they have a very young side but they did well today.
“They have their chances but the dominance they used to have is lacking. I think the loss of their key players before the start of the season affected their performance.”
On similar note, Marist coach Jerry laments the loss of their key senior players from last season which left them with a huge gap to be filled up.
“The first game is always tough but I would like to give credit to my boys where our team this season is a very new team and a new season for us after our campaign last year with very senior experienced players.
“When they all moved out, they left a very big gap in our team where we have tried as much as possible to try and fill in the space,” Sam expressed.
Meanwhile, the TSL returns to Lawson Tama on Wednesday for the third round one match between Henderson Eels and FC Guadalcanal commencing at 3pm while set down for Thursday 3pm is Malaita Kingz taking on Western United.