Solomon Islands bit too clinical: PNG coach

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BY ROMULUS HUTA

Solomon Islands striker Raphael Le’ai gets a touch to the ball ahead of the PNG player in yesterday’s encounter at Lawson Tama

PNG under-16 head coach admits that his boys went down to a better side following the 5-0 loss conceded against Solomon Islands in their Pool A campaign opener of the OFC Under-16 Championship yesterday at Lawson Tama Stadium.

Speaking to the media in the post-match conference, coach Anthony Pakatota said Solomon Islands were a bit too clinical for them with their fast-paced plays and that contributes to their loss.

“The first game is always an important game in this kind of tournament. It’s always good to get a good start. We did not start well.

“Solomon was a bit too clinical with their fast pace so therefore, they caught us a lot out wide and also in the inside,” he said.

Pakatota explained that Solomon Islands made good use of the home ground turf to their best advantage and rules out on Sunday’s slippery and wet conditions as a contributing factor.

“Lawson Tama is always a slippery and a fast pitch on weather like this.

“Blaming the weather for the loss, I don’t really think so. It goes down to experience, especially when it’s not your home ground, you don’t know the pitch but we can only hope for the best.

“But that’s the advantage they have, you know Solomon Islands used their home ground to their best use.

“We’re a bit slow in recovery in defence; we tightened it up a bit in the second half and the idea worked out to be more competitive,” he added.

PNG will play Vanuatu in their second match set for Wednesday 10am.

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