Clash of the titans in NSL as leaders battle to stay on top

Normal, Sports

FOLLOWERS of the Telikom Cup National Soccer League (NSL) will be treated to top class football when the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium in Lae hosts the cream of NSL’s crop tomorrow.
The NSL draw sees Port Moresby two best teams, competition leaders Hekari United and CMSS Tigers take on third placed Gigira Laitepo Morobe and Tukoko University respectively.
Both United and Tigers are on 16 points apiece on the ladder with the Hekari franchise grabbing the top spot on goal percentage despite not playing last weekend.
Gigira Laitepo’s performance was disappointing losing to Esiloan University, 1-0, while Tukoko managed to edge out pre-match favourite Gelle Hills with the same scoreline.
The reigning champions, Hekari, are slowly recovering from the passing of club founder, Sir Kapi Natto but would welcome a positive result to put them back on track.
With allegations of unsportsmanship behaviour involving some senior players of Port Moresby-based NSL teams last week, Hekari’s two coaches Jerry Allen and Tommy Mana expect nothing else but a top class act to restore some credibility back to the team.
Team manageress, Vonnie Kapi-Natto, vowed to crack down on those allegations and would expect top performance from his charges.
Mrs Kapi Natto refused to speculate on her team’s chance and referred questions to Allen and his assistant Mana.
In the other match in Lae, the fired-up Unitech based team will want to take revenge on CMSS Tigers.
Coach Wopai Ziziga would be working on his plan to ensure they upset the second placed team Tigers.
University will be counting on midfielder, Leslie Nate and Gamang Seseme to supply plenty of balls to striker Clifford Wate and flashy winger Freddie Patelo.
Wingers John Joe and Eric Mainuta will assist Nate and Seseme while in the backline  Graham Kidoe and Bais Mangas will assist Daniel Mambu and Philip Sabua provides the Tukoko defence and try and stop Tiger’s attacks into their territory.
The experienced Wate will play a key role in tomorrow’s game to execute the game plan that is expected to produce results.
CMSS Tigers will be counting on their Morobeen players in Raymond Gunemba, Ian Yanum, Beckham Yanum, Anton Pipi and Ken Gule to lead their boys in front of their fellow Morobeans.
In Port Moresby, it will be an even tussle when Esiloan University plays Eastern Star while Gelle Hills will take on Niupetro Fox of Madang.
The Stars need a win to stay competitive with the leaders and are sure to field their best sides against University.
It looks to be a weekend of exciting football with lae likely to witness the most interesting clashes of the round.
The points ladder as of last weekend: Hekari United 16, CMSS Tigers 16, Gigira Laitepo Morobe 15, Esiloan University Inter 13, Tukoko University 13, Gelle Hills 11, Eastern Star 8, Besta United 2 and Niupetro Fox 1.