The National, Friday March 7th, 2014
By LARRY ANDREW
LAE-based National Soccer League franchises Morobe United and Besta PNG United face Port Moresby rivals Oro and Eastern Stars in the double-header of the Telikom-sponsored competition in Lae tomorrow.
The fourth round fixtures are expected to light up the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium as the Lae sides look to impose themselves on the visitors.
With the home ground advantage Besta and Morobe are expected to be hard to beat.
The first match between Besta and Stars is at 12.30pm.
Besta with a bye and three loses will be desperate to join the winners’ circle and coach Bob Morris would be confident his charges can rack up their first victory against the Milne Bay outfit.
Morris has retained the same line up that rattled Hekari in their last outing at the same venue with John Ray the man to watch for the home side.
Defender Ray has close ties with the Stars – his father Joe Ealadona is the Stars’ franchise owner.
“Ray is good in the air and should combine well with Maskulan Pulung who’s been moved from the from the right flank with goalkeeper Vagi Koniel starting ahead of Benjamin Wilbert,” Morris said.
He said the boys were playing good football but just needed to get the results for the effort they had been putting in.
The main feature in the afternoon is expected to be a barn burner as the Gigira Laitepo-sponsored Morobeans currently on second spot with two wins, one draw and a bye take on the dangerous Oro, who although lost 1-0 to Lae last week, cannot be taken lightly.
Coach Sami Paisa stressed that every game in the NSL was being treated as a playoff match – even the ones his side were expected to win.
“Our defence was wobbly last week in Port Moresby. That poor start in defence against Admiralty in the first ten minutes cost us the win. We did well to get the 2-2 draw but it’s something we’ve worked on during the week,” Paisa said.
Gun signing Jamaal Seeto, Wania Malagan, Joshua Oscar and Terence Nablu are expected to stretch the Oro defence but Jeremy Yasasa, Begen Yanum, Valentine Nelson and Vincent Wario form an effective defensive unit for the Oro side and will be hard to crack.
Fixtures: Sat, March 8 – Besta vs Stars, Morobe vs Oro (Lae); Hekari vs Lae (POM).