The National – Tuesday, October 18th 2011
By HENRY MORABANG
REIGNING champions Hekari United taught newcomers Gigira Laitepo Central Coast FC a lesson with a 3-0 thumping in the opening Telikom National Soccer League match at Bava Park in Port Moresby on Saturday.
Hekari recruits Nigel Dabinyaba, Raymond Gunemba and John Namani made their debut for the side, with Dabinyaba and Gunemba scoring a goal each to contribute to the victory.
The other goal came from Samuel Kini who carved a cross to catch veteran Central Coast goalkeeper David Aua flat-footed.
The game started a canter with players trying to adjust to the rough surface of the Bava rugby union field which had been disused for a year by the Port Moresby rugby union administration.
Central, under PNG assistant coach Wesley Waiwai, did not pose a serious threat to Hekari.
But it took almost 40 minutes before Gunemba weaved his way through with ease to slot the first goal past Aua.
Central looked promising in the opening half with striker Nathaniel Lepani and Tau Winnie but failed to put the Hekari defence led by Trevor Ire and Koriak Upaiga under pressure.
On Sunday, City Pharmacy Eastern Stars started their NSL campaign on a high note thrashing Petro Souths 7-0 to complete round one.
Port Moresby School of Excellence striker Lab Embel scored a brace in the rout.
The Southern Highlander scored the opening goal and collected another in the second half.
Eastern Stars lifted the tempo in a second half after the urging of assistant coach Eddie Omokirio.
Solomon Islands import Karol Kakate, with some slicky footwork, sneaked in to the 18-yard box to find the target.
He then struck a well-judged cross which found Embel who headed home his second.
Stars never looked back and scored four more goals to David Taro and Jeremy Yasasa, Fabian Bagi and Felix Bondaluk.
Despite the win, Omokirio said there was some complacency midway through the second half.
He said the players would continue to work to ensure there was not stoppage in the pattern and strategy of play because goal difference was very important in the National Soccer League competition.