City hammer United to claim 3rd title


TOTI City FC claimed their third National Soccer League title on Saturday with a 3-0 drubbing of Besta PNG United in the final at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium, Lae.
In the third place playoff FC Morobe Wawens after losing to United in the semifinal regrouped to beat Madang FC 2-0.
Morobe Wawens, the new kids on the block, have qualified to take part in the Oceania Football Comnfederation’s Champions League next year after they finished the regular season in second spot behind minor premiers and eventual championsto City.
The final was kicked off by Governor General Sir Bob Dadae.
The first 10 minutes of the opening half was evenly contested until striker Nigel Dabinyaba, pictured, went in for a header to put the defending champions in front 1-0.
Dabinyaba’s goal spurred City on to mount more pressure on the young United pack led by captain Ernest Gwaitep.
The Under-23 PNG Football Academy side repelled numerous raids and would have drawn confidence from their resilient atttiude.
Gwaitep and his young chargers frsutrated the defending champions by maintaining their composure and containing City’s array of talent going to the halftime break 1-0.
But the halftime break proved to be their undoing as the resumption of play for the second stanza saw hard working Matthew David score City’s second goal to extend the lead to 2-0 two minutes in.
Captain and golden boot winner Raymond Gunemba slotted his side’s third goal to put the result beyond doubt and take their title-winning streak to three.
City coach Peter Gunemba was pleased with the win.
He commended United for being competitive throughout and keeping his players honest particularly in the first half.
He thanked the fans of both teams for turning up in numbers and making the day a memorable one.
“We’re happy to have won our third title,” Gunemba said.
“For United, after nine years in the competition this was their first final and they showed they deserve to be here.”
“They are future stars and they proved it today.
“The United boys have a long way to go but they have done well and I congratulate them and coach Harrison Kamake for bringing the team this far. United captain Ernest Gwaitep said despite the loss there mood in the team was upbeat and they were proud of what they had done this season.
“We didn’t expect to make the final but we have made it through and we are thankful for all the support we got to come this far,” Gwaitep said.
“Playing against an experienced side like City was a big challenge but we were confident we could do well. Unfortunately, we lost focus in the second half and paid for it.”
City captain Raymond put the result down to his players’ faith in each other and keeping focused on the game plan.
City recieved K50,000 and the cup while United got K25,000.
Wawens received K15,000 and Madang K10,000.
He most valuable player of the season cwent to City’s Emmanuel Simon who received K 3000. City captain Gunemba received the golden boot award and K3000.

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