By GABRIEL LAHOC
BESTA PNG U20’s misery continued when they lost another match after a pumped up Eastern Stars FC orchestrated an improved defensive game plan in the second half to win 3-1 in the Telikom Cup National Soccer League challenge in Lae on Saturday.
Witnessed by a noticeable crowd from Milne Bay province, the PNG U20 with three new players in the paddock threatened the Stars in the first half with good ball control and attack that saw striker Joseph Itana scoring the first goal of the game for the home side in the opening half.
The PNG young guns failed to hold on to their handy lead resulting in the visitors making a strong comeback to beat them.
Stars trainer Milton Gori attributed the win to his players putting up an improved attack and defence in the second half.
Striker Danny Banaba maintained his club points tally as the leading goal scorer, after opening the Stars score sheet in the 53rd minute to level the scores one-all.
Defender Russell Murray backed up well and put the stars in the lead three minutes later with the second goal.
The Besta attackers with their new line-up failed to click in the second half as Stars “super-sub” Ben Max gave the Easterners their final goal.
Despite missing the services of three key playmakers in Paul Wale, Timo Joe and Russell Inai, midfielder Simonta Simongi who is normally warming up the bench, starred for the visitors to claim the man-of-the-match award.
“We really needed this win as well as next weekend’s match against Madang Fox,” Gori said.
Despite the loss, PNG U20 coach Mathew Witu focused on the quality of performance by his boys.
“It is good football that we want. We got a new line up and so we started everything again,” he said.