BY PETER ZOLEVEKE II
REIGNING TSL Champions Solomon Warriors have closed the third seat on the league table with a 5-3 win over a young Marist FC yesterday at the Lawson Tama stadium.
Gagame Feni marked his return to the club with a hat-trick and a match ovation for Solomon Islands International, Micah Lea’alafa following his return from professional football in South Africa.
A youthful Marist FC made the defending Champions to wait until late in the first half to find the back of the net before picking back their pace in the second half. Feni had Warriors ahead before the breather with a brace in a three additional minutes.
“We made a late start to the game but then we pick up to manage goals,” Warriors head coach, Willie Omokirio said in an interview.
“We are happy with the three points today; we were looking forward for this clash and the win will push us up encouraging us to prepare and focus for our final fixture this year.
Judd Molea came off the bench to produce an assist from a trademark corner kick for skipper Haddis Aengari to head in, before Feni found complete his hat-trick to lead 4-0.
Yet determined Marist managed a goal back through Bobby Lesley which caught the Warriors defense at awe.
Alvin Hou extends the lead for Warriors 80’ minutes of play, however a tussle in Warrior’s defense prompted referee George Time to point directly to the spot for Aeta to grab Marist’s second goal.
“Some of the calls made by the referee we think are not fair but then it’s the referee’s decision,” coach Omokirio said.
Four players were booked during the match two each from both teams from aggressive play.
Micah who started from the bench was introduced in the remaining 10 minutes of play still his attacking impact was well dealt by the desperate Marist defense. Marist had one back through Charles Maelasi before fulltime.
“We don’t want to put too much pressure on Micah to have him on the pitch early,” says Omokirio.
The win puts Warriors on 22 points a close gap between the top three teams with a game against KOSSA FC this weekend.
“Like everyone else we are looking forward for our next match and a win can push us up the ladder,” Omokirio wraps.
Warriors meanwhile will play KOSSA FC in their second match for Round 2 of the 2020-2021 TSL seasons 2pm this Saturday