THE annual PNG soccer charity trusts ‘Charity Cup’ Challenge ended yesterday after four days of football fun and action, seasoned with family togetherness over the Easter weekend, at the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby.
With 16 teams in two men’s pools, eight in the women’s, and a whopping 48 in the mixed division, a total of 72 teams turned up in hot and humid conditions for the 11th year in a row, in the name of soccer and charity.
Three days of pool draws, finally ended on Sunday, but yesterday’s finals stepped it up on the fields, as teams slowly got the cut, one by one, on the way to the finals.
In the mixed division final, Malon (Chitta) had to withstand a strong challenge from PKA “Team Execution”, before sealing their win.
With both sides unable to find the back of the nets in regular time, the match went into extra time, and then through to the second period of extra time, before Malons red army shocked their opponents in the opening 40s of the second stanza to win 1-0.
IPA grabbed third placing with a 1-0 win over Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG) Green, both relegated after losses to the finalists in the earlier knockouts.
Barrick Gold Bars took out the women’s prize with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win over BSP, after scoreless regular and extra time, while BAT (Mosong) walked away with the third placing, beating STC Finance 3-0 in the playoff.
Defending men’s champions Express Freight Management (EFM) were all but gone by the end of Sunday, after a tough four wins, a draw, and two losses in their pool matches, but finals experience quickly came to the fore, as they knocked all on their way to retaining their title 1-0 in extra time again, over British American Tobacco (BAT Mosong).
The finals topped off a fun long weekend, for staff members of organisations, the private sector, and their families, with the stadium packed on all four days.