Azariah Soromon sidelined due injury; Suva and Vanuatu to miss key striker

Azariah Soromon, the talented striker from Vanuatu, has been ruled out of action for four weeks due to injury. This unfortunate news has come as a blow to both his club Suva in Fiji and his national team, who will miss his services in the upcoming Tri-Nations series to be played in Lautoka, Fiji.

Soromon, who has been in good form for Suva, played a key role in their recent qualification for the OFC Champions League group stage. His absence will be sorely felt by the club, as well as by the Vanuatu national team, who will face Fiji and Solomon Islands in the friendly tournament.

Soromon in international duties – OFC Media

Vanuatu, who are looking to build a strong team for future competitions, were hoping to rely on Soromon’s skills and experience in the Tri-Nations series. His injury comes as a setback for the team, who will have to regroup and find a way to cope without him.

Despite his absence, Vanuatu will be hoping to put on a strong performance in the Tri-Nations series, and make a statement in South Paficic football. All teams involved in the friendly tournament are looking to get ready for the Pacific Games to be played this year in Honiara, Solomon Islands.


Solomon Islands’ Raphael Lea’i to be cleared for professional debut this week

Raphael Lea’i, the 19-year-old Solomon Islands superstar, has generated a lot of buzz since his move to Velež Mostar in Bosnia’s top-tier league, the m:tel Premier League, earlier this year. He is widely regarded as one of the brightest young talents in Oceania football, and fans and pundits alike are eagerly anticipating his professional debut for the Bosnian outfit.

However, Lea’i has been held back by paperwork issues that have prevented him from making his debut for the club. But according to club officials, the young player is set to be cleared next Saturday, March 18th, and could make his professional debut for Velež Mostar against HŠK Posušje – “On Wednesday(8th March) Raphael went to Belgrade and handed over the visa documentation to the BiH embassy, on Monday (13th March) he is going to get his passport stamped, on Wednesday (15th March) he will receive his work permit and on Saturday (18th March) he will have the right to perform“, said Adnan Dizdarevič to The Solomons Football Post.

Lea’i’s arrival at Velež Mostar has been met with great enthusiasm from fans and the club’s coaching staff alike. He is known for his speed, technical ability, and goal-scoring prowess, and many believe that he has the potential to become one of the best players in the m:tel Premier League.

Raphael Lea’i in action for Solomon Islands

The young Solomon Islands international has already made a name for himself in his home country and has attracted attention from top clubs across the globe. His move to Velež Mostar is seen as a stepping stone towards greater success and recognition, and fans are excited to see what he can do on the European stage.

If Lea’i is cleared to play next Saturday, his professional debut will be eagerly watched by fans and football enthusiasts worldwide. It will be an exciting moment for the player and a significant milestone in his burgeoning career. The Bosnian top-tier league is known for its competitiveness, and Lea’i’s performances will be closely watched by scouts and clubs from around the world.

All in all, Raphael Lea’i’s possible professional debut for Velež Mostar is an exciting moment for football fans all over Oceania. The 19-year-old has high potential and his debut will be a significant step towards realizing his ambitions and opening the path for more Pacific Islander to play in European football.

Digicel Fiji Premier League: Rewa and Lautoka still on top despite setbacks in the weekend

The third matchweek of the Digicel Fiji Premier League saw some exciting matches as teams looked to gain an edge in the league standings. Suva managed to record their first win of the season after a convincing 4-0 victory over Tailevu Naitasiri. Suva just took the lead in the late stages of the first half thanks to a goal scored by Samuela Drudru – the home team added three more in the second half.

Labasa, on the other hand, continued their poor start to the season with a 1-0 defeat to Nadi. Patrick Ralulu scored the only goal of the game in the first half, and despite some late pressure from Labasa, Nadi held on to secure the win.

The current title holders Rewa suffered a setback in their match against Navua away from home. Navua took the lead early on through the Solomon Islander Jared Rongosulia, but Rewa’s captain Setareki Hughes managed to equalize. However, Navua held on for the rest of the game to secure a hard-fought 1-1 draw.

Rewa FC before the match against Navua – Rewa FC Media

The match between Ba and Lautoka ended in a goalless draw, with both teams failing to capitalize on their chances. Meanwhile, Nadroga managed to register their first win of the season in a thrilling match against Tavua. The match was played at Lawaqa Park, and Nadroga managed to come out on top with a 3-2 victory.

At the standings, Rewa and Lautoka continue at the top tired with seven points; Tavua and Labasa are now at the bottom as both sides collected just one point from their three games so far in the league. You can see the full table by clicking here.

Roy Krishna to play his third Indian Super League final as Bengaluru beats Mumbai after penalty-kicks

Fijian football superstar Roy Krishna has reached his third final of the Indian Super League as his team Bengaluru FC defeated Mumbai City in the semifinals after a thrilling match that ended in a penalty shootout. Krishna played a key role in the victory, having scored crucial goals throughout the season.

In the first leg, Bengaluru FC managed to secure a narrow 1-0 victory over Mumbai City. However, Mumbai City came back stronger in the second leg, winning 2-1 in extra time. Krishna had a chance to score a goal, but was stopped by the Mumbai City goalkeeper. Despite the setback, Bengaluru FC managed to hold on and played very well in the extra-time, but could not find a winner.

The shootout was a tense affair, but teams managed to convert all their penalties untill Mehtab Singh missed the crucial penalty for Mumbai City, saved by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, allowing Bengaluru FC to secure a 3-2 victory and book their place in the final thanks to the strike of defender Sandesh Jhingan.

Krishna was instrumental in Bengaluru victory,. This is the fourth season that Krishna has played in India, and he has now reached three finals and finished in the semifinals once. Krishna scored important goals for BFC‘s improvement of the season that saw them in a 10-winning streak in the regular seasn.

Bengaluru FC will now face either Hyderabad or Krishna’s former side ATK Mohun Bagan in the final. With Krishna in top form, Bengaluru FC will be hoping to lift the trophy and add to their impressive record in the Indian Super League. Krishna’s success in India has made him a popular figure among football fans in the country, and he continues to inspire young players with his performances on the pitch – both in India and also in his homecountry.

Solomon Islands: SIFF announces new Kurukuru’s head coach

The Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) has announced the appointment of a new head coach for the national futsal team, Damon Shaw from England. Shaw will lead the team in the upcoming FIFA Futsal World Cup Qualifiers, and the SIFF is confident that he will bring his expertise and experience to the team.

Shaw is a professional futsal coach with a UEFA ‘A’ coaching license that he studied for in Spain. He started his coaching career at the age of 21 and has gained valuable experience over the last 17 years coaching in various countries, including England, Spain, Malta, Malaysia, Poland, and Sweden. He has also coached in the UEFA Futsal Champions League and the FIFA Futsal World Cup.

Shaw (center)

Shaw is not new to the Solomon Islands team, having been a technical analyst for the Kurukuru during their European camp in 2021 and the last FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuania. He is familiar with the team’s playing style and is well-equipped to lead them in the upcoming qualifiers.

The SIFF believes that Shaw’s appointment will provide the team with the right direction and guidance to succeed in the qualifiers. The team has had previous success in international competitions. With Shaw’s expertise, they hope to qualify for the 2024 Futsal World Cup and make a strong impression at the tournament.

Wellington Olympic and Auckland City start the contest for the final berth for OFC Champions League group stage

New Zealand football fans are on the edge of their seats as Wellington Olympic and Auckland City fight for the final berth in the OFC Champions League 2023 group stage. Both teams finished in the top two spots of the NZ National League last season, with Auckland City emerging as champions. However, only one team can represent New Zealand in the regional tournament, and both sides are eager to claim that honor.

The current O-League winners, Auckland City has a rich footballing history, having won ten OFC Champions League titles, while Wellington Olympic is looking to make its first appearance in the OFC Champions League. The first leg of the battle was played in Wellington at Martin Luckie Park, and it was a thrilling encounter from start to finish.

Wellington Olympic’s Hamish Watson battle for the ball – Wellington Olympic Media

In the first half, Wellington Olympic dominated play and created a number of chances. The talented Joel Stevens scored for the hosts at the 37th minute to give them the lead, sending the home crowd into raptures. However, Auckland City regrouped and made their best efforts to find an equaliser in the second half. Finally, in the 79th minute, defender Christian Gray headed the ball into the net to equalize for Auckland City, resulting in a 1-1 draw.

The second leg of the battle will take place next Saturday, March 18th, at Kiwitea Street in Auckland. This match will decide which of the two sides will travel to Vanuatu for the OFC Champions League group stage. It’s a crucial match for both teams, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. The first leg was part of the OFC Champions League national play-off, and the second leg promises to be another exciting contest between two of New Zealand’s best football teams.

Ifira Black Bird returns Port Vila victorious as they sealed OFC Champions League spot

The people of Port Vila, the capital city of Vanuatu, were thrilled to welcome back their football heroes, Ifira Black Bird, after the club’s triumph in the OFC Champions League play-offs against Siaraga from Luganville. Ifira Black Bird secured their spot in the regional tournament after winning both matches against Siaraga, first with a 3-0 victory in Port Vila, and then with a 1-0 win in Luganville. The club also recently won the VFF Champions League after beating the same Siaraga in the final.

The club returned to Port Vila this week, but their journey was not without its challenges.The fans greeted the team with open arms, and celebrations erupted across the city. The country had been hit by two cyclones, which not only affected the football in Vanuatu but also delayed the return of the victorious team. The PVFA Premier League was put on hold for a week due to the cyclones, but it is set to restart soon.

Ifira Black Bird returning to Port Vila – Nok Nok

The success of Ifira Black Bird is a testament to the passion and dedication of the players, coaches, and fans. The fans greeted the team with open arms, and celebrations erupted across the city.

Ifira Black Bird is set to be the host of the competition as the OFC Champions League group stage will be held in Vanuatu – being the one group in Luganville and another in Port Vila. It is likley the Port Vila’s group will have Ifira as one of the four teams of its.

All Whites’ squad for international friendly matches is announced

The All Whites has announced their squad for two friendly matches against China, scheduled to take place on 23rd March at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland and on 26th March at Sky Stadium in Wellington. The squad includes some of the best players from the country, including the all-time top scorer of the All Whites, Chris Wood, who plays for Nottingham Forest in the English Premier League.

One exciting inclusion in the squad is Wellington Phoenix’s Callan Elliot, who has the chance to make his debut in this FIFA window – a number of Wellington Phoenix players were included such as Clayton Lewis, Tim Payne and Kosta Barbarouses. However, some key players like Sarpreet Singh, who started his return to form in 2. Bundesliga in Germany, and Bill Tuiloma, who recently joined Charlotte FC, didn’t make it to the squad. Additionally, Plymouth Argyle’s Ben Waine is understood to not be released by his club to represent the national team in this window.

Cacace, Wood, Bell and Lewis highlighted

On the other hand, important players like Joe Bell, Oli Sail, Liberato Cacace, and Michael Boxall were included in the squad. The call-up also marks the return of Marco Rojas, who is now playing in Chilean top-side Colo-Colo, and Sligo Rovers’ striker Max Mata. You can see the entire squad by clicking here.

The call-up of some of the best players in New Zealand for the upcoming friendly matches against China is exciting news for football fans in the country. While some key players miss out due to club commitments or injury, the team still has a strong squad and will be looking to make a mark in the friendly matches as they started a new cycle heading the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Vanuatu: Port Vila Premier League to restart next week after cyclones hit the capital city

In recent weeks, Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin have caused significant damage and disruptions to the Pacific islands, particularly to Vanuatu. The impact of the twin cyclones has not only affected the daily lives of the locals, but it has also put the Port Vila Premier League, which is Vanuatu’s most important football league, on hold. In addition to cyclones, earthquakes were felt in the country.

The aftermath of the cyclones has left many players of the league severely affected. This has prompted the football organization of Vanuatu’s capital, PVFA, to put the games on hold and request aid for the affected players before returning to competitive football, as reported by local sources to Oceania Football Center.

Korman Stadium, which is the biggest stadium in Vanuatu, was strongly hit by the cyclones, and repairs are needed for the ceiling of the grandstands. However, local sources have confirmed that Port Vila Stadium and the new Freshwater Stadium are in good condition and can be used for the upcoming games.

Korman Stadium in Port Vila – PVFA Media

The Port Vila Premier League is set to return next week, starting from Thursday 16th March at Port Vila Stadium. It is expected that the games will be played with great enthusiasm and energy, as the players are eager to get back on the field and showcase their skills. The clubs were requested by PVFA to aid the affected players before returning to competitive football.

The delay of the league’s return is understandable, given the damage caused by the twin cyclones; the clubs and the local federation had meetings through the week to decide the schedule of the upcoming matches. Currently, Galaxy FC is the top-placed side of the league, but the current champions Ifira Black Bird have postponed matches to be play and retake the first place in the race of the title.

Raphael Lea’i still unavailable as Velež Mostar loses local derby against Zrinjski

The local derby between Velež and Zrinjski in Mostar is always one of the most highly anticipated matches in the m:tel Premier League, and this year’s matchup lived up to expectations. Unfortunately for Velež, they were unable to come out on top, ultimately losing 3-1 to their fierce rivals.

Despite the presence of a strong squad, Velež was once again unable to take advantage of Solomon Islands’ star Raphael Lea’i, who was still unavailable to play due to local processes that needed to be completed before he could make his debut for the club. Lea’i, who signed with Velež earlier this year, has been eagerly awaited by fans and teammates alike, as he is known for his impressive skills and scoring abilities.

The match began with Silvio Ilinković scoring for Zrinjski in the 19th minute, putting the home team ahead. Velež was able to equalize with a goal from Nermin Haskić in the 29th minute, but Tomislav Kiš of Zrinjski quickly put the home team back in the lead before the first half was over.

Velež and Zrjinski teams entering pitch – FK Velež Mostar Media

In the second half, Antonio Ivančić added another goal for Zrinjski, further securing their lead and putting the pressure on Velež to catch up. Despite their best efforts, Velež was unable to make up the deficit, resulting in their first defeat of the year.

With the return of the league this Sunday (12th March), Velež will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing loss and regain their momentum. Fans and teammates alike are eagerly anticipating the debut of Raphael Lea’i, who is sure to make a big impact on the pitch once he is cleared to play.