The National, Monday 3rd June 2013
BESTA PNG United FC held off a spirited Gigira Laitepo Morobe United FC 3-2 in the third-place pay-off of the Telikom National Soccer League in Lae on Saturday.
The between the two Lae-based franchises was a “little brother verses big brother” match up that saw a sizable crowd flock to the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium.
The development side were first to score when Cooper Ipako opened the first of his hattrick when he sailed the ball into the net from the left hand corner of the field that took Morobe goalkeeper Ronald Warisan by surprise two minutes into the match.
That goal ignited the young guns to spread the ball wide applying pressure on the opposition defence and they were rewarded when Ipako scored his second from an Issaac Lalos pass to extend Besta’s tally to 2-0.
In the second half both teams began the game strongly after getting instructions from their coaches and visited each other’s goal mouth but could not score and in one instance Besta’s keeper Benjamin Wilbert had to be replaced after he dislocated a finger when deflecting a kick from Morobe’s Agi Moses.
The game see-sawed until a good passage of play in the mid field opened a hole for Morobe’s Jeremy Yasasa to find the back of the net to 1-2.
Ipako resonded with his third of the day surging down the left flank to give the PNG Football Academy side a 3-1 advantage.
Morobe substitute John Joe scored in the 84th minute to trail 2-3 after replacing Sammy Hiob.
The third place in 2013 caps off a susscessful season for the junior side (U20).
For Morobe, this will also be seen as a positive as the franchise continues rebuilding itself after changes to management and sponsorship.