Australia recorded their first victory of the PacificAus Sports International Futsal Series on Monday evening, overcoming the Solomon Islands 3-2 in a tight affair at ‘The Centre’ in Dural.

Goals to Daniel Fornito, Scott Rogan and Grant Lynch sealed the victory for the Futsalroos side in front of a capacity crowd in Sydney’s North West.

Following on from a strong performance in Saturday’s series-opening 1-1 draw, Solomon Islands pushed Miles Downie’s side all the way, with a deflected effort off Junior Mana and a Charlie Otainao strike in the 31st minute keeping all in attendance on the edge of their seats.

It was the away nation who started brightly, with Calvin Do’oro forcing Domenic Badolato into a couple of sharp saves inside the first five minutes.

However the opening goal would arrive from Australia via the penalty spot, after an acrobatic effort from Jordan Gurreiro was adjudged to have struck the arm of his defender, presenting the opportunity for Fornito to cannon home a powerful spot kick.

Dom Cox was next to fire an effort on target that was palmed to safety by Anthony Talo, before Scott Rogan doubled the hosts’ lead with a shot that was deflected past the wrong-footed Solomon Islands goalkeeper.

However just over a minute later, Solomon Islands would pull one back, as a well-worked move saw Mana pop up at the back post to guide the ball in off his back.

Australia created a couple more chances before the break, but neither Rhys Buick or Lynch were able to extend their advantage, seeing the teams head into the changing rooms with the Futsalroos leading 2-1.

The second half kicked off in similar fashion to the first, as Badolato made a couple of early saves to deny the Solomon Islands, before Australia would go up the other and strike.

This time it was Lynch, playing in his first match of the series, who would fire home a left-footed strike to restore the home side’s two-goal buffer.

Jacob Basden then nearly made the gap three, seeing an effort denied by the post, before Fornito’s follow-up was saved from close range.

Chances continued to stack up for the Futsalroos but they were denied by some stubborn Solomon Islands defending, as the 28th-minute saw Basden hit the post again, before Gurreiro’s attempt was saved.

As the match approached its final ten minutes the away side began to surge again, with Charlie Otainao sparking Australian goalkeeper Badolato into action in the 29th minute.

Just two minutes later, the Solomon Islands #6 would find a way past the Futsalroos’ shotstopper, picking out the bottom corner and setting up the game for a grandstand finish.

Despite late chances at both ends, including an outside-of-the-boot Adeli effort and late Owen Bunabo one-on-one, the score would remain 3-2, ensuring Australia secured their first win of the three-match series – to the delight of the home supporters.

This week’s action will be rounded out on Wednesday, when The Centre hosts another international between Australia and Solomon Islands.

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