PNG club champions Hekari United are one up after a 3-1 victory over Real Kakamoro FC of Solomon Islands in their first of two friendly internationals hosted by United at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby on Tuesday.
Today, both teams will meet for their second match.
PNGFA vice-president John Kapi Natto said soccer followers, who have nothing to do must come and support United, who will be representing PNG.
Tickets are going for K15 (adults) and K2 (children) for the grand stand and K2 for the outerstands.
Kapi Natto said the games started with curtain raisers from NCD Schools Soccer with the youngsters exhibiting some fine talent and skills.
Hekari won the match 3-1, courtesy of Kema Jack, Fijian import Tuimasi Manuda and Erickson Komeng goals to put them in front of the visitors, who were in the country as part of PNG’s Independence Day celebrations this week.
The PNG champions also fielded a strong team as part of their preparations for the upcoming O-League Challenge.
Making their presence fielt were the Muta brothers Cyril (fullback) and David (midfield), their fellow West New Briton Desmond Waluka at the goal mouth, backliners Hugo Kamba of mixed African and Madang parentage, Koriak Upaiga, Benjamin Mela and Enoch Abraham in the midfield and Jack and Manuda in the front line.
Nothing must be taken away, however, from the visitors as former Port Moresby-based players David Taro and Paul Usumae continued to make their presence known on the field by physically leading their unsuccessful charges.
Usumae is the founding coach of PRK Souths when they first entered the NSL competition before he was sidelined to make way for incumbent Jerry Allen, while Taro was with CMSS Tigers Rapatona last year.
The visitors wasted no time in attack when referee Job Minan penalised United’s fullback Upaiga for a handball in the penalty area, which Taro kicked to go one up.
The match seesawed until the 38th minute when ace striker Jack headed a good cross from Benjamin Mela for the equaliser.
Mela is a specialist kicker in the NSL competition, especially in taking penalty and corner kicks, which sometimes caught the opposition off-guard. The same applied in this case.
In the second half, United coach Jerry Allan made sure their goals counted when he instructed his boys to bombard the opposition’s territory at will.
Tuimasi, who proved a valuable buy for Hekari, made sure of a good cross by Mela from a penalty to head the ball into the net to put the home team in front 2-1.
Kakamoro played good football with one-touch passes and long range passes across the field but failed to find the net.
Flanker Junior Kluivert, Usumae until replaced by Brandy Bebeni, midfielder and captain Ian Ngahugari, fullback Edyka Maeta, Richard Mama and Huston Ray played strongly for the visitors.