Cooks Islands have denied Solomon Islands their wish to finish the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Womenâ€™s Nations Cup 2010 with a medal by beating them 2 â€“ 0 in the third and fourth final in Auckland on Friday.Â
The Kirios were very hopeful going into the match with Assistant Coach Diane Justus expressing her confidence that her team is on track for a medal finish at the championship.
However, the Cook Islands reminded them that hope has to be combined with skills, strength and a lot of determination before the results can go oneâ€™s way with their powerful stride to their bronze medal victory.
The first half of the match was goalless despite some strong runs and attempts by players from both teams.
Nevertheless, it was the Cook Islands who were stamping their authority on the game using their well conditioned forwards to threaten Solomon Island.
Fortunately for Solomon Island, Cook Islands were not able to register on the scoreboard by the time that the match referee called for the halftime break.
The second half saw the Cooks Islands come out firing and they registered 4 near chances before Solomon Island could one.
Solomon Islandâ€™s best scoring chance came in the 67th minute when Ella Misibiniâ€™s poke goes agonisingly close but somehow Cook Islands manage to scramble the ball away.
Three (3) minutes later the Cook Islands went in front courtesy of a penalty taken by their Captain, Mama Henry after a handball was committed in the Solomon Island penalty box.
The Kirios were caught off guard by Henryâ€™s goal and they struggled to reclaim play for an equaliser.
Unfortunately for them, Cook Islands all but sealed their victory with Regina Mustonenâ€™s strike from the edge of the penalty box with 11 minutes to go.
Despite having an additional 3 minutes after fulltime Solomon Island were not able to wrestle the situation back to their favour and had to concede defeat to the deserving Cook Islanders.
Defending champions New Zealand retained their title after defeating Papua New Guinea by 11 goals to nil in the grand final match played later in the afternoon.