By HENRY MORABANG
IT is now or never for CMSS Tigers when they take on Eastern Star in the main game of Telikom National Soccer League triple header at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby tomorrow.
After seven straight draws, the Korean-backed club are licking their wounds and wondering what has gone wrong with their season and team.
Other games also on the card in tomorrow’s bumper showdown include a local derby between Esiloan University InterFC and competition leaders, Hekari United, while in the opening match, Gelle Hills take on NSL babies, Besta PNG United FC.
The Gigira Laitepo Morobe FC vs Niugini Builders Tukoko Unitech FC in Lae has been deferred to a later date because of the Women In Business Expo that will be held at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium this weekend.
While rumours abound of Tigers coach Joo-wan Jung being sidelined, CMSS Tigers franchise owner Jimmy Kim brushed aside the rumours insisting the Tigers mentor was still at the helm.
Tigers will be relying on their new recruits Richard Pono, Tarcisius Gringo plus their African connection in Hugo Kamba to support Ila Ilatia Jr and striker-cum fullback Frank Tulem to man the backline.
In the midfield, veteran skipper Ken Gule, Sowera Guti and strikers Ian Yanum and Bruce Kusunan and Raymond Gunemba should add some fireworks in the frontline for Tigers.
On the same note nothing must be taken away from Eastern Star as coach Francis Moiyap has shown his tactical nous through out the season and is sure to have a surprise against the Tigers. It would be a test for the two national coaches, the women coach Moiyap and men’s coach Juan.
It should be an interesting game.
If Stars want to provide a good opposition to Tigers, coach Moiyap should involve flanker Paul Walei more in the midfield to work along side skipper Adrian Komu.
Komu has too often played lone hands in the middle of the park which is something Moiyap should seriously think about when the play Tigers.
The Stars are renowned for scoring first but can not defend their goal which at times was costly resulting in a loss or draw.
Striker Danny Barnaba is elusive and fast outwide and if Tigers defence is not careful, they will certainly pay a price. Barnaba will be ably assisted by Boda Bomana and Fabian Bagi.
Stars defence is boosted with the inclusion of former representative players Russel Inai, Kialou Pouru and Russel Murray at the back which should give Tigers difficult wall to breach.
The Hekari versus University should be interesting.
In the first meeting, University inflicted Hekari’s first loss in National Soccer League beating them 1-0.
With the inclusion of Stanley Waita and Alick Maemae, Hekari is definitely on fire and will give University a scare.
The Esiloan-sponsored team will rely on home-grown talent to take on the star-studded Hekari side.
In the opening match, Gelle Hills will find the going gets tough against young Besta PNG United side.
The Wesley Waiwai-coached team need a win to stay in touch with the competition leaders while Mathew Witu boys from Lae, are still learning their ropes in the tough NSL competition.
The points ladder as of Wednesday’s wash-out match in Madang. The points ladder: Hekari 22, CMSS Tigers 19, Gigira Laitepo Morobe 19, Esiloan University InterFc 15, Tukoko Univiersity 15, Gelle Hills 14, Eastern Star 12, Niupetro Fox 7, Besta United PNG 2.