Solomon Islands
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Star Striker Lea'i Heading to Auckland for Olympic Qualifiers

Star forward Raphael Lea’i has been racing time to get to Auckland to help his Solomon Islands side in their efforts to qualify for next year’s Paris Olympics.

Lea’i plays for club side FK Velez Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was hoping to arrive in Auckland in time for Sunday’s OFC Olympic qualifier Pool B game against Tonga at The Trusts Arena (3pm).

Solomon Islands head coach Eddie Marahare told OFC Media:

“Arrangements are in place but it depends on the flight. As soon as they confirm the flight, I’ll be able to confirm whether he will play on Sunday or for the semi-final.

“If Rafa is present, then I’m sure the boys will be happy. They all look to Rafa as a great example, and I’m sure he’ll bring a lot of confidence to the team.”

Rafa did not make it in time for the game against Tonga, which Solomon Islands won comfortably 5-1. Rafa might feature in the semi-finals. 

Vanuatu will meet hosts New Zealand and the Solomon Islands will face Fiji in Wednesday’s semi-finals at the OFC Olympic Men’s Qualifier in Auckland.

The Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have notched up wins on the final day of Group B action at Trusts Arena with the Solomon Islands beating Tonga 5-1 to finish with a perfect record in Group play. Earlier Vanuatu overcame Samoa 3-1 to clinch runner up spot in the Group.

Source: With OFC Media