December 4th, 2017
Despite good levels of fitness, both teams had to endure the heat of the sun, before wet conditions set in with the periods of rain.
In the end the conditions did not affect the outcome as Vanuatu defeated the Solomon Islands 5-nil.
Junane Ishmael opened the scoring for Team Vanuatu.
With a penalty kick awarded, the lead was extended through a Monica Melteviel kick which wizzed past the goalie to meet a swollen net in the 26th minute of the second half giving a three point lead to the home team.
Vanuatu Team Manager Julie King had earlier highlighted Monica Melteviel as a promising player to watch in this game.
With the strong lead, Vanuatu coach Wu Kangshen announced a tactical change seeing mid-fielder Jane Alatoa come off, exchanging her position with Juanane Ishmael, while substitute Abock Toukawa came in as the next striker.
Vanuatu continued to stage a 4-1-4 gameplan.
It was promising to note Team Vanuatu was well aware of their responsibilities and roles with or without the ball.
The crowd was witness to a confident Vanuatu side in this game with passes being intercepted both ways but then Vanuatu’s Melteviel passed well to Leisale Solomon in the penalty box who made the shot comfortably giving the home side its fifth goal.
Emilia Taravaki seemed to be the lead player in organising the attack and defence of Team Vanuatu in this game.
Taravaki and Brenda Anis together with striker Azariah Soromon in the Men’s team are all cousins.
King had strongly encouraged the women ahead of these Games.
“With all your toil, sweat and sacrifices into the five months training in China, it must be reinvested into the team’s five matches in the Pacific Mini Games.
“Giving all their best and that they represent the flag of Vanuatu and that they owe this game today to the former players (from 2003) who were no longer here and have moved on with life, but would have wished to be here playing on home ground and so have left the dreams for so many football women for Vanuatu”, King said.
The Solomon Islands Women’s side consisted of a blend of senior and U18 players.
Team Manager of the Solomon Islands team Angeline Vave said they have a young team, the youngest being 14 years old. Their main reason for inclusion for younger players was gearing up for the 2023 Games to be hosted by their nation.
Solomons will next take on Tonga, while Vanuatu will face Fiji with both matches on Thursday evening at Korman Stadium.
Story by Kathy Simon
Photo by Melissa Fare