East New Britain bag gold in men’s soccer competition


EAST New Britain won the gold medal in men’s soccer at the 7th BSP PNG Games in Kimbe, West New Britain.
The province known for rugby league and softball, beat neighbours WNB 1-0 in the gold medal playoff on Saturday at the San Remo sports precinct.
Autonomous Region of Bougainville dethroned 2014 silver medallist Manus 3-2 for the bronze medal.
In the women’s finals Madang beat AROB 1-0 to settle for bronze while defending champions Morobe were shocked by West New Britain.
The host province, down 1-0, came back strongly in the second half to beat the favourites Morobe 2-1 to run out winners.
The men’s final was the highlight to close the Games and attracted many locals and visitors who stayed on to watch the closing ceremony.
The soccer final was evenly contested with both side having many chances to score but could not find the mark.
At the start of the second half with heat affecting on the players, the ENB side started playing basic football.
The match see-sawed until ENB’s Wasket Richard curved the ball from the left corner into the WNB goal and fullback Alphonse Mulutu accidently scored against his own side.
With the 1-0 advantage ENB shifted their style of play to pin WNB in their own half and apply pressure. They defended strongly denying the hosts any room to find the net and eventually ran out winners.
ENB team manager Thomas Nakui said with the deferral of the PNG Games his players had been in training.
“We prepared the side for the last 24 months and this is the result. I give credit not only to the players but coaches as well as we have one of our soccer icons in Thomas Demio with the team.”