“Thanks for your prayers”

Suri says spiritual backing from supporters back home pushes them to win


Head coach Batram Suri giving instructions to his boys from the sideline during Tuesday’s match

NATIONAL under-19 soccer head coach Batram Suri has dedicated their first win of the OFC Under-19 championship to soccer supporters back home.

The Suri-coached side defeated New Caledonia 3-2 on Tuesday afternoon to open their Group B campaign of the championship currently underway in Tahiti on the right track, thanks to strikes from Patrick Taroga, Lino Houairia and an own goal that emerged from a corner kick and attributed to New Caledonian player Lucas Bitaud.

Speaking during the post-match interview, Suri said: “First of all, I would like to thank God because it’s through the prayers of supporters back home in Solomon Islands which help push us to win.

“Your spiritual and hard supports helped us to win and we’re so grateful for that.”

Suri added that the victory was hard earned and went on to describe the outcome as a well-deserving one for the boys.

Solomon Islands’ left wing attacker Lino Houairia reaches high to clear off
the pressure in yesterday’s match against New Caledonia. Houairia also
scored in the 3-2 win against the New Caledonians.

“The boys deserve to win, they worked so hard. They’ve also done so many mistakes during the game but they have learnt from them and showed good signs of improvement.”

The three goals scored on Tuesday overwhelmed Suri on another level given the poor scoring forms experienced during friendly matches held in Honiara against Telekom S-League (TSL) teams.

“The score line really impressed me given they have not scored so much at home during our friendly matches and I’m very proud of them.”

Suri insists that the positive result attained from the match sets a good pace for them in the competition.

“The result determines where we are going next where it will raise our level of confidence to take on each match as it comes in the competition.

“But again, I’m speechless with the result; I don’t know what to say. Overall, I think the boys deserve it,” Suri said.

The national youth side’s second match is on Friday against Fiji, where a second win will probably book them early qualification into the semi-final of the competition that will see the two top winners earning a place in next year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Poland as Oceania representatives.

Fiji won the other pool B match after clinching a 3-1 victory against Vanuatu.

The OFC U-19 Championship takes a break today before Group A resumes on Thursday.

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