City pull off 2-2 draw against Vanuatu’s Galaxy

Sports

A LATE Emmanuel Simon goal helped Lae City salvage a 2-2 draw in their opener of the Oceania Football Confederation Champions League in Auckland, New Zealand, yesterday.
Two own goals in the first half at Ngahue Reserve and goals from both captains, Kensi Tangis and Simon, in the second period meant the points were shared in the Group-A fixture.
The opening match of the tournament started scrappily, but after both teams adapted to the playing surface, the game sprung into life in chaotic fashion.
City first had a golden opportunity to take the lead, but Alwin Komolong’s headed effort ricocheted off the post before Galaxy goalkeeper Joshua Willie produced a remarkable reaction save to push away Bruce Tiampo’s follow-up.
Galaxy punished City’s inability to take their chance moments later. Andre Batick’s cross was fired back across goal by Joe Moses, cannoning off Lae City defender Felix Komolong into his own net.
Galaxy’s advantage did not hold for long as they swiftly returned the favour of an own goal to their opponents.
Simon’s dangerous corner-kick delivery evaded Willie before bobbling in off the helpless Dondy Kileteir.
Just before the break, City thought another own goal had given them the lead, after Willie flapped Bika’s cross into his own net.
However, the match officials judged the ball to have already gone out of play.
Galaxy came out firing in the second half and their increased intensity had an immediate pay-off.
The impressive Tangis again used his pace and power to shrug off both his markers before touching a delicate right-foot finish beyond City goalkeeper Ronald Warisan.
Tangis and Moses then tested Warisan again, but it was the mercurial Willie in the Galaxy goalmouth who continued his topsy-turvy performance to maintain the lead.
This time, he prevented Felix Komolong a chance at redeeming his first-half own goal, blocking the PNG international defender’s header in stunning fashion.
The Galaxy goalkeeper came to the rescue again five minutes later after City were awarded a penalty, denying Simon from the spot-kick.
But Simon soon completed his redemption, slotting home the equaliser after good work from Bob Morris’ side.
Galaxy had a chance to win in added time, but substitute Jack Vira hit his effort straight at Warisan to maintain the 2-2 result.
Both teams will be back in Group-A action on Sunday, with Galaxy facing the Solomon Islands’ Central Coast while Lae City meet Tahiti’s AS Venus.
— OFC

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