Business as usual for NSL champions

Main Stories, Sports


BESTA PNG United yesterday put on a commendable performance despite succumbing to NSL and O-League champions, MRDC Hekari United FC 4-2 in the mid-week match of Telikom National Soccer League in Port Moresby.
The young guns from the PNGFA Football Academy led by strikers Nigel Dabinyaba, Jamaal Seeto, midfielder Emmanuel Simon and stocky fullback Benjamin Kolua made the Abu Dhabi-bound glamour team work harder than expected for the win.
Hekari manageress Vonnie Kapi Natto was the first to give credit to the PNG development squad after match.
During the post-match interview, Kapi Natto was full of praise for Max Foster-coached side.
“Your boys gave us a hard time. It’s good for those youngsters to play with strong teams. Full credit must go to you and your boys.”
Meanwhile, Besta’s  manager David Brand spoke for the team.
“We could have won. Hekari scored because of defensive errors but it was a good game for the young boys,” he said.
Despite putting up a commendable fight, the highlight of the match was Hekari United prized signing from Fiji, Osea Vakatalesau taking the field for the first time since joining club three months ago.
The towering Fijian import was a marked man and found the going rough as he adjusted to the conditions.
As usual, goal-hungry striker Kema Jack had a field day scoring a hattrick of goals.
The Kaparoko lad hit the net 10 minutes into the match before Nigel Dabinyaba levelled it in the 16th minute.
Jack scored again in the 34th minute before Seeto brought the scores level.
Seeto’s goal came from deft passage of play with Dabinyaba, who set up the Madang talent who outran the defence to slice one past goalkeeper Gure Gabina for a 2-2 halftime score.
In the second half, Hekari using their experience and scored through Jack Kema in the 71st minute after receiving a header from Osea while the latter scored his first goal for the club – a spot kick after Jack was felled in the box.
The NSL point’s ladder after yesterday’s match: Hekari United  12, Tukoko University 5, Madang Fox 4, Eastern Star 4, Petro Souths 3, Besta PNG United 2 and Gigira Laitepo Morobe 1.