City fight off Wawens


FORWARD Stahl Gubag and African import Jibola Afonja were on target as reigning National Soccer League champions Lae City beat Morobe Wawens 2-0 in the top-of-the-table Northern Conference clash on Saturday.
Back from a two-week break, coach Bob Morris said his conference-leading City — who remain the only side with a perfect start to the campaign — were aiming to continue their dominance in the second half of the season.
The Lae Biscuit Company-sponsored side are now eight points clear of second-placed Morobe Wawens.
Morris told The National yesterday that he was involved with the national men’s train-on squad in Port Moresby during the first week of the break, which had given City little chance of an ideal preparation.
“But we managed to get the win despite a very physical game,” he said.
“I was disappointed with the way the Wawens played, they came out too aggressive and played very rough which is not how football is played.
“The referee could have cautioned or sanctioned a few players.
“I don’t blame the referee, it goes back to team managements and coaches to discourage their players from displaying excessive aggression on the field.
“Although it was a tough and aggressive game in wet conditions, my men kept their focus and we stuck to our game plan.”
Meanwhile, Morris said Afonja had been getting along well with the team, especially fellow forwards Gubag and Jonathan Allen.
“We are still mindful that teams are coming back stronger in the second round with players recruited in the transfer window,” he said.
“We have bagged seven wins so far, so we’ll aim to remain consistent in our remaining games.”
The other conference matches saw Morobe United beat Madang’s Tusbab Stallions 3-0 despite losing three players in the transfer window. They are skipper Eliud Fugre (Lae City), David Mathew (Port Moresby Strikers) and Russell Chris (Hekari United).
The main match saw Papua New Guinea international and striker Raymond Gunemba leading Lae City Dwellers to a 2-1 defeat of rookies Northern Youth.
Results: Sat, Sept 18 — Lae City 2 Morobe Wawens 0, Morobe United 3 Tusbab Stallions 0, Lae City Dwellers 2 Northern Youth 1, Hekari United 6 Star Mountain 2, Central Dabaris 1 Gulf Komara 3, Tavur 1 Southern Youth 1.