Futsalroos claim convincing win in second game of PacificAus Sports Series against Kurukuru

Game Two of the PacificAus Sports Futsal Series 2024 ended in a 6-2 victory for the Futsalroos, after an impressive second half performance saw them come out on top in an exciting match.

Ethan De Melo, Jordan Guerreiro, Shervin Adeli, Daniel Fornito and Ahmed Sweedan were on the scoresheet for the Futsalroos, with Adeli bagging a brace. Raphael Leai scored both goals for Kurukuru.

Leai has impressed throughout the series so far, and also scored Solomon Island’s first international futsal goal in front of home fans in Game One.

He spoke to Football Australia media in the lead up to the match.

“I was really proud of myself,” he said. “I was happy to score for Kurukuru. The first time here we host international friendly match here in Solomon Islands, on our home soil. So I’m happy.

“I was excited and I want to perform more in game two. I want to prove myself to my people and my country.”

Photo credit: Damian Briggs.

Experienced Futsalroo Grant Lynch expressed his hopes for how his side could improve for the second match of the three-game series.

“After reviewing Game One, the team identified that there are a lot of areas of improvement for us, particularly off the ball,” he explained. “[the team is] really looking to try and apply pressure and do a good job of making sure we’re compacting in a position where we can win the ball back.”

Lynch quickly proved his words about applying pressure converted into action. Within the first minute of the game, he managed to outmuscle his defender in Australia’s front third and play a ball through to Ethan De Melo.

De Melo made no mistake, a deflected finish making it two goals in two games for the youngest member of the Futsalroos, and gave his side the early lead.

The Futsalroos were on top for most of the opening phases of play but struggled to capitalise on their momentum. Kurukuru goalkeeper Anthony Talo again had an impressive match, denying the Futsalroos on several occasions.



It wasn’t long, however, before Kurukuru’s pace on the counter showed itself once more. Raphael Leai hit the post in the fifth minute after winning the ball high up the court. Three minutes later, he had the Solomons’ equaliser, slotting it home after a run up the left.

Solomon Islands had a golden opportunity to take the lead after Australia committed an infringement for a two touch foul. However, the resulting play – where Kurukuru goalkeeper Anthony Talo crossed halfway in order to be an attacking option – opened an opportunity for Australia to capitalise if they won the ball.

They were able to do so. The ball fell to Jordan Guerreiro who saw his opportunity and took it, striking accurately from well within his own half and slotting the ball into an empty net.

Kurukuru kept on coming. In the twelfth minute, they were able to create a 3v1 situation in transition. It was again their man Leai who was there at the back post to tap it home and make it 2-2.

It looked as if the half would end that way, but Guerreiro had other ideas. In the final 30 seconds of the half the winger won the ball high up the pitch and played a perfect ball to his captain Shervin Adeli, who was able to glide it into the back of the net from the back post. The Futsalroos had a hard-earned 3-2 lead before the break.

Kurukuru had their share of opportunities to equalise in the early stages of the second half. In the first minute, Wade Giovenali was called into action to make a goal line clearance. Later, Aaron Yu made an impressive triple save after a Solomons set piece.

However, it would be Australia who would score the next goal. It was almost a carbon copy of the first – Adeli waiting at the back post for an inch perfect Guerreiro ball – and it gave his side a much needed a two-goal buffer.

Daniel Fornito made it a three-goal gap when he scored his second goal of the tour, set up beautifully by a Scott Rogan backheel.

Solomon Islands vs Futsalroos | Game 2 wrap


Ahmed Sweedan put the icing on the cake for Australia with his first international goal after a fantastically constructed team goal. It meant that the match ended 6-2, and left Head Coach Miles Downie satisfied with the result – with some caveats.

“There’s lots of positives from my perspective,” Downie reflected after the match, “but also there are things that we probably didn’t do well enough for patches of the game.

“With the crowd getting behind the Solomons and whenever anything happened for the Solomons, a good chance or a goal, just lifted them [higher] for the next ten minutes. It is really, really impressive energy. It’s a fantastic challenge and lesson for us to be able to manage that.”

Kurukuru Head Coach Dickson Kadau offered his thoughts on the match, saying, "I want to build them for next year... so they need this type of game.

"It's very challenging, it's very tough for these young boys, Australians, all the Futsalroos, they play up here [mentally strong]. They all play up here and all of them are very tactical.

"But then the boys can match it when they put them together as a team, play as a team. And we can go."

On the court, the standout player for the Futsalroos was Jordan Guerreiro, who scored one goal and contributed two assists. He said that the team could really feel the atmosphere on the court created by the fans inside Friendship Hall.

“Being on the field, you can definitely feel the atmosphere,” he reflected. “So when there’s a big crowd or there’s a lot of heightened emotion, it’s just something else as far as players can just feed on it, and it gives us energy to play.”

“I think we did really, really well. We executed the gameplan pretty well.”

Sweedan also caught up with Football Australia media after the game. He dedicated his first international goal to his five-month-old nephew, who was watching back home with his family in Australia.

“My first international goal is incredible,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a feeling like it. Nothing that can really be explained.”

“Just looking at the people in the past who have built a legacy for us. It’s a complete honour to score a goal for your country, and hopefully I’ll get a few more.”

Looking ahead to game three, Sweedan said that the team would continue to work towards their goals as they build towards the AFC Futsal Asian Cup in April.

“As a team… [we want to be] controlling the game a lot more and having a lot more opportunities, and being more ruthless in front of goal,” he explained. “But on the flipside, also being quite compact and defensive, and just continuing to be unified on the field.”

Photo credit: Damian Briggs.



Match One 
Date: Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Venue: Friendship Hall, Honiara 
Match: Solomon Islands 1-2 Futsalroos

Match Two 
Date: Friday, 23 February 2024 
Venue: Friendship Hall, Honiara 
Match: Solomon Islands 2-6 Futsalroos 

Match Three 
Date: Sunday, 25 February 2024 
Venue: Friendship Hall, Honiara 
Match: Solomon Islands v Futsalroos – 6:00pm AEDT kick-off

Live-streaming of each match will be available on https://www.facebook.com/solomonislandsfootball