A DESPERATE Tukoko University Lae shocked National Soccer League dark horses Gelle Hills, 1-0, on Saturday in a contest billed as a grudge match at Port Moresby’s Lloyd Robson oval.
Tukoko’s accurate striker Mopat Deremoa’s goal in the second half saw the Morobe franchise hold onto the lead despite a fightback from Hills in the dying stages of the game.
Tukoko Lae University coach, Wopai Ziziga, was a satisfied man after setting his sights on a victory at the weekend.
Heading into the second round of the NSL, Ziziga was counting on a win to further bolster their chances of snatching a finals spot from under the noses of the competition’s more fancied sides.
Star recruit Clifford Wate produced an inspired performance in his side’s victory with support from super-subs, Freddie Petello and the ever-dangerous Deremoa, who combined well to keep their former teammates in Gelle Hills from firing. Tukoko, who badly needed a win after falling to the bottom four on the table, played accordingly, shutting down, towering Hills fullback, Bofeng Garambini, David Taro, Leana Geno and Anslom Waluka.
Of course it hepled that Hills seemed a little less decisive out on the paddock, blowing several chances, unlike in recent outings which saw the returning franchise humble the top tier teams in the competition.
Taro, Geno and Nane Amona did not click in the game as expected which saw them waste possession in their own territory fail to provide their frontline quality ball.
In the second game of the double headerin in Port Moresby, University Inter FC humbled Gigira Laitepo Morobe FC, 1-0, in another exciting showdown.
The Morobe boys came out firing in the first part of the match but failed to continue their momentum to gun down the capital city franchise team.
Over in Lae Eastern Stars managed to start their finals run home in stylish fashion dumping Besta PNG 3-1.
The match between Hekari Souths United and Niupetro Fox was deferred due to the passing of the late Sir Kapi Natto’s death, while CMSS Tigers were on bye.