The National, Monday March 3rd, 2014
By HENRY MORABANG
MOROBE’s Gigira Laitepo and Lae proved they will be teams to watch in the 2014 National Soccer League season following their draw and a win respectively in Port Moresby on Saturday.
The two Morobe teams certainly have their fair share of supporters in Port Moresby who packed Bisini Oval 2 to urge them on.
In the opening match, Hide Gas Development Company (HGDC)-sponsored team fought back to force a draw 2-2 against Admiralty after trailing throughout.
As predicted, Admiralty dangerous duo, Solomon Islander Moffat Kilifa and Rigo Melo Mark Gobono were the toast of the Manusians after scoring back-to-back goals in the opening 10 minutes to put them in front 2-0.
With good support from midfielders Michael Foster and Roniel Igens, Admiralty surprised the disorganised Gigira Laitepo backline led by skipper Valentine Nelson, Beckham Yanum, Jeremy Yasasa and Philemon Yalu, to score two quick goals withina space of five minutes.
That was the only time Admiralty found time in their opponent territory.
Gigira Laitepo with their never-say-die attitude started to play one-touch football to make their opponents work extra hard.
Gigira Laitepo striker Jamal Seeto was a marked man while new acquisition Vanya Malagian provided the necessary support to find the net.
Fifteen minutes later, Jamal Seeto found the net through a header off Eliuda Fugre’s corner kick to stay in the game.
At half time, Admiralty led 2-1.
Gigira Laitepo coach Paisa Sami rushed in Max Sengum in the second half but while he made some impact his shots at goal were off target. It was not until the final five minutes when a Philemon Yalu long range shot beat Admiralty goalkeeper John Bai to equalise at 2-2.
In the main game, a quick goal by Lae striker Clement Peka 10 minutes into the opening half was enough to see the Zilu Scientific-sponsored Lae collect the three points in the NSL.
Supported by Troy Gunemba, Emmanuel Yawi, Emmanuel Simon and Goroba Tawa, Peka wasted no time making his presence felt with his first touch of the ball.
After Peka’s goal, Oro lifted their performance with midfielders Allan Kororo, Leana Geno and Max Mende combining.
Oro could not find the net until coach Joe Turia brought in Michael Lohai who almost scored a goal if it was not for a good save by goalkeeper Roland Warisan.
Lae went into the break 1-0, a lead they defended to win.
This weekend, Lae will host a double header which will see Besta host Eastern Stars while Morobe host Oro, and in Port Moresby Hekari will play Lae. Admiralty have the bye.
Standings: Hekari 10, Gigira 7, Lae 6, Admiralty 5, Oro 4, Eastern Star 1, Besta 0.