The National, Monday 29th April 2013
HEKARI United have finally earned a victory in the Oceania Champions League, beating fellow strugglers Solomon Warriors 2-1.
The national champions were by far the better side in the final Group A match at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby on Saturday.
Neither side had anything but pride to play for and were desperate to prove they are worthy of a place at this level.
Hekari showed what they are capable off at the end of a lack-lustre season, with goals from Raymond Gunemba in the 17th and Nigel Dabinyaba in the 27th minutes enough to dispose of the debutants.
The visiting Warriors, who secured a first ever win of the competition the week before at home to Hekari, threatened to launch a comeback when a Moffat Kilifa strike put them back into the contest on 54 minutes.
But the equaliser failed to materialise as Hekari held on to haul themselves off the foot of the table.
The group stages of the Oceania Champions League end tomorrow with the final round of Group B games when Dragon host Auckland City – a vital match that will decide which of those two qualifies for the semi-finals – and Waitakere United travel to Mont-Dore.
In the other Group A match, Fijian outfit Ba will be joined in the semi-finals by Vanuatu’s Amicale.
The fight for the knockout stages has not been as tight in Group A, with Ba and Amicale booking their safe passage in earlier rounds. Ba all but secured top spot when the sides clashed at Govind Park in Ba.