City fight back

Lae City’s Jacob Sabua (right) celebrating with his teammates after Emmanuel Simon scored the opener against the Henderson Eels during their Oceania Football Confederation Champion League group-B fixture in Vanuatu on Saturday. The match ended 3-3. – Picture courtesy of FRANKIY KAPIN

LAE City fought back from a goal down to record a 3-3 draw with the Henderson Eels in group B of the Oceania Football Confederation Champions League in Vanuatu on Saturday.
Penalties, goals and cards flowed on a day that produced two draws in group B as no side was able to take an early lead in the pool’s standings in Luganville, Vanuatu’s second largest city.
Kumul Petroleum National Soccer League champions City and Henderson had their time with the lead in a match where three penalties were awarded.
The Lae Biscuit Company-sponsored side opened the scoring through Emmanuel Simon in the opening minutes but Henderson didn’t drop their heads.
Former City star Tutizama Tanito converted his first spot kick of the game in the 24th minute and when Raphael Le’ai scored his maiden Champions League goal, the Eels took a 2-1 lead to the break.
After a quiet opening to the second spell, the game came to life just after the 60th minute.
In a nine-minute period, City scored twice — Simon completed his double and Nigel Dabinyaba found the back of the net — to take the lead before Tanito’s second penalty levelled the match at 3-3 in the 70th minute.
Despite having a host of chances, Solomon Islands club Henderson couldn’t deliver the winning strike in a game that also featured four yellow cards.
City coach Peter Gunemba said he was pleased that his side fought back from a goal down.
“Both sides had chances to win,” Gunemba said.
Meanwhile, Lautoka drew 1-1 with Malampa Revivors. – OFC

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