The National, Monday February 9th, 2015
By HENRY MORABANG
A spirited Madang came from a 1-0 deficit at half time to force a 1-1 draw against Port Moresby in the National Soccer League match played at the Correctional Institution Oval at Bomana on Saturday.
Port Moresby capitalised on an unsettled Madang defensive line in the opening half scoring through Felix Bondaluk (9th minute) .
Bondaluk was set up by some deft footwork from the Moresby midfield and took advantage of some sloppy defensive work by Madang’s Nigel Malagian to rifle a low drive pastMadang goalkeeper Leehan Manase.
Madang regrouped and started to send the ball to their wings with Eliuda Pohei and Sammy Hiob looking dangerous but the home side had an experienced defence organised by veteran Andrew Lepani, captain Cyril Muta, John Roberts and Ronald Bala who kept any threat at bay.
Goalkeepers Manase and Charles Lepani Jr (FC Port Moresby) were outstanding making some of the crucial saves.
At halftime, Madang coach Francis Moiyap impressed on his players to keep up the pressure and the goal would come.
At the resumption of the second half both teams played well trying to pry open the other’s defence.
Madang captain Max Sengum was cool, setting up his forwards to score. Striker Terence Bandi and lanky Alwin Komolong had to work overtime upfront because of a lack of midfield support.
Played seesawed until midway through the second half when Madang started to find their rhythm.
Madang had an opportunity after referee Hilary Ani penalised Port Moresby for a hand ball in the box.
Sengum took the kick but sent it wide as the capital city team hung on to their 0-1 lead.
Replacement Gerrard Lashel scored in the 90th minute to equalise in what could have been Madang’s first win of the season.
In the earlier match, Oro picked up their first competition points after upsetting Admiralty 1-0.
Coming from a 4-1 loss to Besta United last week, the Joe Turia-coached side picked up and gave the Manusians a good run for their money. Admiralty had several chances but they failed to put them away.
After a scoreless first half, Oro’s best offseason buy, Jacob Sabua scored in the 46th minutes for the only goal of the match. Oro 1 (Jacob Sabua (47th minute) Admiralty 0. Port Moresby 1 (Felix Bondaluk 9th minute) Madang 1 (Gerrard Lashel 90th minute).