O-LEAGUE newcomers Lautoka FC of Fiji consolidated their lead in Group B with a second away win over Hekari United FC 2-1 at Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby on Saturday.
Their first away win was against Marist FC of Solomon Islands at Lawson Tama Stadium where they won convincingly 3-1.
After trailing 1-0 in the opening half, the visitors came in the second half more organised with Australian midfielder Nahuel Arrarte, strikers Kamal Hasan and Valerio Nawatu threatening the Hekari defence.
The visitors returned in the second half with renewed vigour following an ear-bashing from coach Amdad Ali at the breather.
Arrarte could have been the villain by giving away a penalty when be pulled David Muta down in the penalty box resulting in a spot kick.
However, he redeemed himself in the 69th minute. His ball control and patience in setting up his forwards paid dividends when striker Valeria Nawatu connected a brilliant cross by New Zealand-based Salesh Kumar for the equaliser after being set up by Arrarte.
With the score tied 1-1, both teams went all out for the winner.
PNG had three golden opportunities but blew them while Lautoka replacement Apisai Smith did no such thing when he tapped in the winner after goalkeeper Gure Gabina failed to clear the ball.
Both teams brought in fresh legs in the dying minutes but the Lautoka defenders kept a tight lid of their backline.
Lautoka coach Amdad Ali said after the match that he was happy with the three points.
“We came here with a purpose and we are happy with the result,” he said.
Hekari coach Tommy Mana said silly mistakes had cost his side the match.“Our strikers could not find the net when we had the opportunities. We have no patience and rushed during the crucial part of the match which cost us dearly against the tall Fijians,” he said.
Hekari franchise owner John Kapi Natto was disappointed that his boys did not perform well or win the match in front of their home crowd. The match was watched by many prominent people including Sports Minister Philemon Embel and Acting Governor for BPNG Benny Popoitai.
Fiji champion now joins Tafea FC and Waitakere United whom all picked up three points on match day two of the 2010 O-League.