By CARLOS ARUAFU
SOLOMON Islands Kurukuru is one step closer to the 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuania, after booking a grand final play-off against the New Zealand Futsal Whites yesterday.
This was possible after they beat the host, New Caledonia in a thrilling semi-final at L'Arene Du Sud in a dramatic 5-1 victory.
Former OFC Futsal championship Golden boot winner, George Steven got the scoring underway for Kurukuru three minutes from kick off before Charlie Otainao made it two in the sixth minute for a 2-0 lead in the first half.
Stevenson made it three to kick off the second half before Jeffery Bule and Arnold Maeluma scored a goal each to make it 5-1.
New Caledonia managed to score a goal in the second half by Jean Philippe Sele.
In the second semi-final between New Zealand and Tahiti last night, the Futsal Whites came from behind to beat Tahiti and set up a grand final encounter with Solomon Islands.
New Zealand was 2 goals down in the first half but later came back to complete a remarkable comeback to beat Tahiti by 3-2.
Three quick goals for New Zealand, twice from Oban Hawkins and Stephen Ashby-Peckham was enough to give the Futsal Whites the victory they needed.
The grand final will be played 7pm tonight, at L'Arene Du Sud and the winner will get a place in the next Futsal World Cup.
It will be the 9th edition of the FIFA Futsal World Cup, the quadrennial international futsal championship contested by the men's national teams of the member associations of FIFA.
The World Cup is due to be held from 12 September to 4 October 2020 in Lithuania.