The National – Monday, December 6, 2010
By HENRY MORABANG in DOHA, QATAR
MRDC Hekari United last Thursday won their warm-up match with a 2-0 over a Doha representative side at Aspire Sports Academy soccer oval in Doha, Qatar.
The Oceania champions, under coach Tommy Mana, used the match to test out the starting 11 for Wednesday’s Club World Cup opener in Abu Dhabi against homeside Al Wahda.
Hekari were in Doha for a pre-match preparation courtesy of Oceania Football Confederation and Qatar Football Association.
The evening match was played in Doha’s cool weather.
Hekari, fielding the possible starting team for the Al Wahda clash included Simione Tamalisau (goalkeeper), Pita Bolaitoga, Gideon Omokirio, Alvin Singh, Koriak Upaiga (defenders), Kema Jack, Malakai Tiwa, David Muta, Henry Fa’arodo (midfielders), Osea Vakatalesau and Eric Komeng.
Hekari wasted little time shifting into high gear and putting into practice their set plays, and in one such move towering striker Vakatalesau was felled just outside the box owing to some desparate Doha defence.
Fa’arodo’s free kick found Jack for the opening goal in the 7th minute.
The goal boosted the team’s confidence and they piled on the heat on the Qataris’ defence until PNG scored the second goal after several promising raids later.
Mana, who used a 4-2-4 system during the match, was satisfied with the two quick goals.
Tiwa contributed to the score of the night as he drove a low ball to his Fijian compatriot Vakatalesau, who wrong-footed Doha’s goal keeper for the second goal.
The O-League champions had the opportunity to increase the scoreline when Vakatalesau missed an opportunity midway through the first half lead 2-0 at the break.
In the second half, Hekari were denied any further scoring chances as the host put up a more determined defence.