Solomons eke out Uruguayan upset
© AFP

Solomon Islands survived a late onslaught to edge Uruguay 7-6 in what was an exhilarating start to their FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Dubai 2009 campaign. The Oceania representatives held a five-goal cushion with just six minutes remaining, but will be mightily relieved to have put three points on the board following a spirited comeback from their Group A rivals.

The infallible Ricar gave Uruguay an early advantage, but goals from Robert Laua, Gibson Hosea, Muri and Timothy Wale sent Solomon Islands in 4-2 up at the first break. The South Americans were incapable of nullifying their underdogs’ counter-attacking style, with a quick-fire brace from Laua, which completed his hat-trick, and a strike from Omo making it 7-2 before the end of the second period.

However, midway through the concluding period, Uruguay found their rhythm, and four goals within three minutes – Martin and Ricar both completed doubles, while Pampero and Fabian were also on target – made for a thrilling last few minutes. Las Charrúas threw everything forward in search of an equaliser, but the Bilikiki Boys ultimately escaped with the victory.

The teams will return to action tomorrow, when Uruguay will meet Portugal and Solomon Islands take on United Arab Emirates.