12 Jun 2012

Sport: Solomon Islands back themselves to beat top sides

10:47 am on 12 June 2012

Despite winning just one of their five matches at the Oceania Nations Cup, host nations the Solomon Islands says they've shown the world that the can compete with the best.

The Bonitos finished their campaign with a 4-3 defeat to New Zealand in the playoff for third place.

Having trailled 3-0 at half-time, goals from Himson Teleda and two to Benjamin Totori levelled proceedings before Shane Smeltz snatched a late winner.

Solomon Islands Technical Advisor, Laurent Papillon, says the home side can still be proud of their achievements.

"We finished at fourth position but now it's to show to everybody that Solomon team can beat this team at home and we have to obtain some points in New Zealand in the future, but we showed to everybody that we have the capacity to beat this team."

Solomon Islands will still join New Zealand, Tahiti and New Caledonia in the third stage of Oceania World Cup qualifying, which begins in September.