The National, Monday February 8th, 2016
By DOROTHY MARK
MADANG FC beat the 2015 NSL champions Lae City Dwellers at home 2-1 in one of the final matches of the Northern conference on Saturday.
The atmosphere at Laiwaden was on fire when Madang FC captain Max Sengum scored the first goal on the 11th minute despite the strong defence from the Lae side.
But the situation changed when Sengum caused a penalty two minutes after he scored and the Lae team took advantage of that and captain Raymond Gunemba sunk the ball into the net to draw with Madang.
Both teams maintained their defence in the first half of the match but when they returned in the second half, the tide changed when Madang’s special boy Samuel Kini took a surprise shot that set the ball straight into net.
That happened when players from both sides gathered around the goal mouth for a corner kick from the Madang side.
Lae keeper Matheson Nasa had tried to save the goal but was unsuccessful and Kini got there first to slam it into the Dwellers’ net.
As the Lae side had expected, Madang supporters took the field in all directions and shouted in joy and congratulated the players.
The game had to be delayed when nearly 20 policemen tried to clear the supporters from the field.
A soccer mother and ward councillor for Ward 2 Freda Pomat said Lae supporters threw stones at the Madang players during the grand final in Lae last year and had disturbed the whole game which made the players weaken their defence and Lae won 4-1.
Pomat said the supporters went to witness the game were also stoned and returned home heart-broken over the treatment received by Lae supporters and were waiting for this match to pay back not by throwing objects at players but show the home ground support in the simple Madang way.
“It was a good tough match, there were no objects thrown at players and the support came good for our boys and that really compensated the treatment we received in Lae,” she said.
Coach Bob Morris said Madang would not enter the finals but the team to beat was the Lae Dwellers which he was glad his boys did well against.
Morris said he was happy his boys never lost a game on home soil but lost two away games.
“Definitely we are going to miss out depending on the result of Welgris and Goroka but though we didn’t make it, we are still the champion because we beat the champion,” Morris said.