HEKARI United maintained the top position on the ladder after edging out Eastern Star 4-3 in the midweek clash of the Telikom National Soccer League challenge at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby yesterday.
Striker Kema Jack, Erickson Komeng and Alick Maemae got their names on the score sheet for Hekari while Danny Barnaba and striker Boda Bomana scored for Star.
Eastern Star franchise owner Joe Ealedona was happy with the performance of his boys despite the loss.
“It was good experience for a lot of youngsters who were promoted to take on an experience Hekari side,” he said.
The game started off at a slow pace.
Hekari did not perform to expectation with fatigue still taking its toll on the players after the tough O-League match against Lautoka FC last Sunday.
They started using their flanks and it paid off when Andrew Lepani’s cross found Jack, who headed the shot into the net for the opening goal in the 20th minute.
With a goal in front, Hekari lifted their performance to see Komeng scoring the second goal after 17 minutes to put the champions 2-0 in front.
However, Eastern Star replied a minute later when flanker Paul Walei sent a brilliant cross to find his striker Danny Barnaba’s head for their first point.
Barnaba struck again – this time picking up his second goal in a similar fashion to level the scores 2-2.
In the second half, Komeng scored his second goal.
Sensing that the game was slipping away, Hekari coach Jerry Allen brought in Maemae who did not disappoint by scoring the winner to seal the match.