Solomon Islands down PNG Kapuls 3-2

A late surge from the PNG Kapuls wasn’t enough as they fell short 3-2 to the Solomon Islands at Lawson Tama Stadium on Friday afternoon in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifiers – OFC Stage 3.

PNG were under the pump from the start and the home side put themselves in front after 12 minutes when Atkin Kaua drove one past keeper Ronald Warisan.

Solomon Islands continued to dominate possession and a cross from Jerry Donga saw captain Benjamin Totori do the rest putting boot to ball to beat Warisan for the second time in the 37th minute.

Solomon Islands led 2-0 at the break.

PNG struck back three minutes into the second half through captain Michael Foster who powered a shot into the nets to start the fight back.

The visitors continued to surge on and equalized thanks to Raymond Gunemba who created the opportunity for Patrick Aisa to score and make it 2-2 in the 61st minute of play.

With all the momentum their way, PNG looked certain to score again and take the lead.

But Solomon Islands kept their composure withstanding the pressure, and in the 74th minute pushed ahead after Micah Lea’alafa got on the end of a pass from James Naka to go around Warisan and score what was the winning goal.

From here, Solomon Islands held on to win.

The return match will be played on June 13 at home at the PNG Football Stadium, Port Moresby.

Photo credit: Oceania Football Confederation.

Troy Taule