Marist Football Club
Bule’s 45mins strike and Fa’arodo’s late superb free kick proved decisive as Marist secured a deserved victory and a spot in the OFC Champions league next year as S-League runner up.
There were only two changes in the starting 11 that beat Real Kakamora 3days ago. Jeffery Bule returns to the starting 11 after he serve his one match suspension, John Rofeta replace Robert Laua who is very ill at the moment.
Marist were the better team in what was an entertaining and more physical encounter with Timothy Bakale and Mathias Ian unfortunate not to break the deadlock in the first 40mins.
Kossa almost found the net through Moffat Kilifa in the opening 3rd minutes but Anthony Talo produced a magnificent save to deny the forward.
Anthony Talo with his only 6th start this season, on-form Davidson who was impressive since the win over Solomon Warriors and Real Kakamora was again given the start on the Right-Wing with Mathias Ian leading the line upfront. Changes in the full backs, Koriak was switched back to his usual left-back position, John Rofeta on the right, supported by the two hard working centre-back, Boso and Waroi.
First clear opportunity fells on the 25th minutes when Koriak Upiaga raced down the left flank and deliver a delightful low cut-back pass to Mathias Ian who send it straight to the Goal Keeper. From the next attack it looked as though Marist had taken the lead when a teasing John Rofeta delivery from the right found Bakale who steered his shot just few inches wide off the bottom corner.
It was a lively opening to the contest and at the other end, Naka and Kilifa with few decent opportunities but failed to beat Talo. Both teams were happy to commit men forward when in possession.
As the half time approached, there had no shortage of goal mouth action, but crucially there was still nothing between the teams.
Marist broke the dead lock in the 45minutes after a scramble inside the box, the ball found Jeffery Bule who wrong footed the keeper with a low powerful strike at the bottom left corner. Marist were leading 1-0 at the interval.
Within 5mins of restart Mathias Ian went close with a right footed drive but was well saved by Desmond Tutu.
Jerry Allan made his first change in the 65th minutes as Natanela comes on to replace Joachim Waroi at Centre back. Another substitute was made in 68th minutes, John Rofeta makes way for Atkin Kaua.
A shift on the right flank, Davidson was shifted back to the unfamiliar right-back to accommodate Atkin Kaua.
Kossa continued to chase a leveller, Naka, Kilifa and Watemae with few clear decent attempts on goal but were denied by Anthony Talo.
Fa’arodo’s superb free kick in the 80 minutes put the game to bed. The ageless captain sends a delightful free kick outside the box straight into the empty past Desmond Tutu. Although there was still time for late scare, Marist held on to for a memorable win to confirm a spot in the OFC champions League group D.
It’s now three consecutive S-League victories for Marist in 8 days. Marist are now the Telekom S-League 2017/18 runner-up, with a spot in the OFC champions league group D, Kick off February 24 – March 4 here in Honiara next year.
Marist still have one final league game in hand on Sunday 19th Nov, 4pm against Malaita Kingz.
Marist (4-2-4) Talo (GK), Waroi, Boso, Upaiga, Rofeta, Bule, Fa’arodo. Bakale. Iniga, Davidson, Mathias.
SUB: Taloga, Natanela, Kairi, Amasia, Kaua, Harold (GK)