It was the battle between the two titans as far as the PNG soccer world is concerned and both teams didn’t disappoint over the weekend in the Kumul Petroleum National Soccer League (NSL).
The hype over the match already having built up with former Lae City stars Raymond Gunemba and Nigel Dabinyaba having administrative grievances with their former club played out via the media.
The clearance to play came at the 11th hour and it seemed Hekari coach Erickson Komeng kept to his selected backline, with Samoan Vito Laloata who usually plays as a striker featuring in defence alongside right-back Junior David. This change created a slight confusion 5 minutes into the game and Lae’s Midfielder Jacob Sabua pounced on the opportunity leaving Hekari stunned.
Lae showing youth in their attacking capabilities but it was the formidable Komolong brothers Felix and Alwin at the back that kept the Hekari experience at bay in their attack. Gunemba and Dabinyaba still finding a combination to link up with forward Kolu Kepo.
The loss for Hekari also sees them sitting on third place in the NSL competition ladder with Vitiaz United victory over Morobe Wawens pushing them into the second spot.
Mathew David, who moved to Vitiaz United during the mid-season transfer window, scoring a hat-trick and the Wawens unable to find the back of the opposition net.
Hekari United 0-1 Lae City
Vitiaz United 3-0 Morobe Wawens
Star Mountain 3-1 FC Bougainville
FC Kutubu 4-3 Gulf Komara
Tusbab Stallions 1-2 Morobe United
1 – Lae City – 29
2 – Vitiaz United – 29
3 – Hekari United – 26
4 – Tusbab Stallions – 18
5 – Gulf Komara – 13
6 – Star Mountains – 12
7 – Morobe Wawens – 12
8 – FC Bougainville – 11
9 – Morobe United – 10
10 – FC Kutubu – 10
Photo Credit: PNGFA