14 Nov 2016

Sport: Stoppage time strike seals Solomons win

12:52 pm on 14 November 2016

A stoppage time strike from Emmanual Poila gave Solomon Islands a dramatic last-gasp 1-0 victory against Tahiti in Honiara to boost their chances in Stage 3 of Oceania FIFA World Cup qualifying.

Poila sneaked into the Tahitian penalty box two minutes into time added on to meet a failed clearance before hitting the ball past goalkeeper Michael Roche.

Bonitos coach Moses Toata was a relieved man at the final whistle.

"Playing in front of your home crowd can be very very challenging and I think the boys just did what we worked on and we kept persisting. The goal that came very very late could have come earlier but for me a win is a win," he said.

"I'd like to thank my boys and like to express how happy I am with them. Also with the crowd - I'm very very pleased with the way the crowd has been supporting us for this game."

James Naka attempts to round Tahiti goalkeeper Michael Roche.

James Naka attempts to round Tahiti goalkeeper Michael Roche. Photo: Solomon Islands Football Federation

Tahiti coach Ludovic Graugnard felt his team played well but let themselves down at the end.

"We was very strong and we win a lot of fight in the middle and in defence but we lose duel - the most important is the last time - and it allows for Solomon Islands to win. I think we must be more concentrating until the last time, the last second," he said.

"At the high level is you must concentrate for 95 minutes and today Tahiti concentrated (for) 92 minutes and it is not enough."

Tahiti coach Ludovic Graugnard.

Tahiti coach Ludovic Graugnard. Photo: OFC via Phototek

Tahiti had won the reverse fixture 1-0 in Papeete last week and the two sides are level on three points from two matches in Group B.

Solomon Islands will resume their qualifying campaign against Papua New Guinea in June next year with Tahiti and Papua New Guinea to play home and away in March.

Match day two concludes tomorrow in Kone, where New Caledonia host New Zealand at Stade Yoshida.

The All Whites won their home leg 2-0 in Auckland on Saturday to take an early lead in Group A.