The National, Monday November 11th, 2013
By HENRY MORABANG
MACLAREN kept their Super League hopes alive after sending Rapatona packing for the season with 2-0 victory in the Port Moresby Soccer Association competition at Bisini on Sunday.
The other match of the day, the qualifying final, saw VATS Yamaros prove too strong beating University 2-1 to advance to meet Momase next week.
The winner of Yamaros and Momase will book the first grand final spot while the loser will meet the winner of University and Maclaren in the do-or-die battle.
Captained by Cyril Muta, Maclaren put on extraordinary performance keeping their faith supporters on their toes until the final whistle.
It was young midfielder Basil Jofari who put on the man-of-the- match performance to lead his Popondetta team to victory.
The former POMSOE player was outstanding in the midfield.
He was ably assisted by Pakot Poesi running rings around their more experiences opponents Lawrence Diou and Roniel Igens of Rapatona.
Unfortunately it was not Rapatona’s day.
The Chique Posman-managed team had to call on their U19 players to stand in to take on the full-strength Maclarens.
Maclaren scored their first goal through Muta in the 30th minute.
Igens pushed hard for the equaliser but Maclaren’s defence held firm.
The Lua Vagi-coached team went to the break 1-0 ahead.
In the second half, Rapatona tried everything but could not breach the defensive wall.
Maclaren shifted into top gear with little midfield master Jofari taking full control of the game.
He set substitute striker Kila Alu for the winning goal in the 88th minute to seal the game.
On ground two, Yamaros made their intentions known with Patrick Aisa scoring in the 2nd minute for an early lead.
The game see-sawed for a while before University striker Russell Nirik equalised but Yamaros had other plans when striker Tommy Sammy thundered home the winner in the 44th minute.
The second half was evenly contested but at times saw some silly football.
Referee Sosogan Salaiau had to red-card University’s Max Sengum for head-butting which may see the end of him if University make the grand final.
In the premier division, minor premiers Golo booked a final spot after beating fellow Hula team, Sea Eagles 4-2. Sea Eagles will now meet MBS who defeated Keleiruna in the elimination finals 4-3.