NSL top 4 sealed


DEFENDING National Soccer League champions Toti City FC head into Sunday’s semifinal against Madang undefeated and with all the momentum.
City finished the regular season with 10 wins and two draws and have not been pushed to their limit by any side in the country’s top tier domestic soccer competition.
With the final washout match between the Besta United PNG and the Southern Strikers ending in a 1-1 draw yesterday, the top four has been set and will battle it out for the ultimate prize when the semis kick off at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium in Lae.
City, who finished on 32 points, are the minor premiers, followed by Morobe Wawens 24, Besta PNG United on 22 and Madang on 20, making up the top four spots.
Coach Peter Gunemba’s men have been the picture of consistency in the NSL, and are one game away from making their fourth appearance in a NSL final.
The final four pits the competition’s most clinical and consistent teams, City and Wawens, against Besta and Madang.
Wawens and Besta are two enigmatic and talented sides, who have willed their way to be on the cusp of a final. City’s match against the Madang will provide fans with a contrast in styles with both sides having a healthy rivalry.
Gunemba’s side, who have been an unrelenting, almost unstoppable force in the competition have been the form team this year.
Madang coach David Geladia knows he had a side of talented individuals but getting them to click quicker as a cohesive group on the day would be the key for his team’s chances.
The first semifinal is between the two young sides, Wawens will take on the unpredictable PNG United.
United coach Harrison Kamake has given his side the right mix of tactical nous and tough talk to coax the best performance out of them in securing the third spot on the ladder.
Their unpredictable style and their speed on attack, with whippet Barthy Kerobin one of the players of the competition, will see the dangerous United pose a threat to the precise and cerebral Wawens.
Wawens on the other hand are coming off a dominating performance over Southern Strikers in their washout match on Monday where coach Peter Seski’s side shut down the Port Moresby-based team 5-0. The combination of calm and calculated precision football, coupled with their ability to control the tempo of the game, could spell trouble for United.
The first semifinal is at 12.30pm while the second semifinal will kick off at 3pm.
The format of the semis is 1 v 4 and 2 v 3. The winners proceed straight to the final on May 26 while the losers play off for third place.

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