The National, Monday 3rd June 2013
By HENRY MORABANG
HEKARI United have cemented their status as the kings of PNG soccer after recording an eighth straight victory.
They beat newcomers FC Port Moresby 3-0 in the Telikom National Soccer League grand final at Sir John Guise stadium in Port Moresby on Saturday.
As anticipated both teams displayed a high standard of football befitting a final which kept the spectators on their feet throughout 90 minutes.
Both teams had an equal share of support in the stands and for a while it looked to be an even tussle.
But Hekari fans had the last laugh with the Reds slotting three while keeping the FC goal-less.
Port Moresby fans were disappointed that striker Neil Hans failed to at least make a dent in the Reds’ defensive wall with his “mumu stone” strike in the second half.
Special guest Oro Governor Garry Juffa and Telikom National Soccer League chairman Isaac Lupari were more than pleased with the standard of football.
FC Port Moresby got a special wrap from Juffa for being the first timers in the semi-professional competition and made the grand final in their inaugural season.
FC Port Moresby went straight to work to dominating the first 15 minutes constantly taking play into Hekari territory but defenders Daniel Joe, Taniela Waqa, Pita Bolaitoga, Koriak Upaiga and goalkeeper Godfrey Baniau kept things under control.
The defenders than turned attackers when Hekari shifted into high gear to start pressuring FC Port Moresby defence.
Skipper David Muta took control of the midfield and started delivering ball for his flankers and strikers.
Hekari’s Nigel Dabinyaba picked off a loose clearance to slam home a goal.
The score lifted the defending champions as they intensified their attack.
Raymond Gunemba weaved his way into the box and was brought down by FC skipper Cyril Muta.
Eric Komeng kicked the ensuing spot kick for a 2-0 lead into the break.
Hekari took adavantage of an unsettled Port Moresby defence to send Gunemba through for the third and the final goal of the afternoon.
With a 3-0 lead Hekari shut up shop and were content to protect their lead and see out the remainder of the match.
Port Moresby fighting desparately to gain a foothold in the contest substituted Alwin Komolong for Felix Bondaluk.
The national junior representative had an immediate impact getting FC on the front foot.
This allowed Max Sengum and Hans several chances at goal but Hekari’s defensive structure was equal to the task.
Hekari coach Jerry Allen was said the victory was the best way to end another challenging season.