The National, Friday 19th April 2013
By HENRY MORABANG
HEKARI United will play for pride in the remaining two matches against Solomon Warriors in the 2013 OFC Championship League.
Coach Jerry Allen admitted it was difficult coming to terms with two successive loses to Fiji’s Ba last Saturday and in mid-week against Amicale of Vanuatu.
The losses mean the 2010 champions must now give up their dream of earning another title.
“I am very disappointed because it is finished for us now after the loss in Vanuatu,” he said.
“Again, we have played well but if you can’t score then all that hard work comes to nothing. We will now be playing for pride in the rest of the tournament.”
Hekari have jetted into the Solomon Islands’ capital and are preparing for their game against the Solomon Warriors.
Both teams, Hekari and Warriors have similar records. Both teams drew and lose two matches at home and away.
In the other match, Amicale and Ba confirmed they would be the sides progressing to the semi-finals from Group A with home wins – 2-0 over Hekari United and 5-0 against Solomon Warriors respectively.
Having no problems earning points or scoring goals at the moment are Ba, whose 5-0 win over Solomon Warriors at Govind Park keeps them at the top of Group A on goal difference.
Malakai Tiwa gave the “Men in Black” an early lead in just the second minute but it was not until after the break that Yogendra Dutt’s side really got their eye in, Sanni Issa scoring in the 47th, 63rd and 75th minutes to claim a hat-trick before Laisenia Naioko completed the rout with four minutes remaining.
Amicale did not manage to find the net with as much regularity at Port Vila Stadium against Hekari but a 38th-minute Joses Nawo effort and a header from Fenedy Masauvakalo – now starting to produce the form he displayed in Amicale’s final-making season of 2011 – in the 76th proved enough anyway.
Fiji Ba is travelling to Amicale for a top-of-the-table clash this weekend. “I can only thank the players for a great win today,” Amicale coach Richard Iwai said.