By PATRICIA KEAMO
SOUTHERN Conference leaders FC Genesis are still at the top of the table following a 1-1 draw against a blazing Hekari United in the Women’s National Soccer League competition on Saturday.
The top-of-the-table clash saw FC Genesis (12 points) and Hekari (10 points) take the pitch under the 1pm heat and went out firing at all opportunities.
FC Genesis’ persistence paid off when flanker Julie Wama broke through to beat Hekari’s defenders and slammed the ball to the right side of Hekari’s keeper Linda Bunaga to take an early lead in the first half.
All attempts by Hekari for an equaliser were thwarted by FC Genesis’ Leah Loi at the goal mouth.
Her efforts caught the eyes of bmobile representative at the match that saw her being selected as the player of the match.
She received a Red X Dash 4G mobile phone which is part of bmobile’s sponsorship to the Women’s NSL. Hekari came back stronger in the second half and equalised with a goal from Sonia Embahe.
Genesis’ assistant coach Joe Willie said although their performance wasn’t what they hoped for, being the defensive team, they gave their best in holding off Hekari in the second half.
“We expected Hekari to come back strong (in the second half), their finishing off is an advantage,” Willie said.
“We put the defense we’ve been working on to use and the ladies did very well by holding down Hekari.”
Willie said the match against Hekari has shown them areas they need to improve on in order to maintain the lead. Hekari’s coach Eric Komeg said they anticipated a strong challenge from Genesis and stuck to their game plan to score.
“We were supposed to score some goals in the second half but we didn’t.”
The opening match saw sister clubs Port Moresby City and Port Moresby City Academy face each other with the former coming out winners with a 7-0 beating.
POM City coach Frederica Sakette said they have changed their training from three days to five and that has showed with improvements in the team’s performance.
“The improvement is slowly coming with the girls’ commitment paying off which resulted in our win last week and today (Saturday),” said Sakette.
Meanwhile, in the main game, National Capital District FC escaped with a 3-2 win against a determined Amoana.
NCD scored the opening goal and took the lead in the first half with Amoana equalising in the second half.
Amona’s anxiety at defending saw them conceding a goal allowing NCD back in the lead until the full time whistle.
Saturday’s matches concluded the first round with teams picking up momentum and intensity going into the second round.
By PATRICIA KEAMO