By LARRY ANDREW
NORTHERN Conference leaders Poro continued their perfect start to the season with a 4-0 win over Sepik in the top-of-the-table clash in the Women’s National Soccer League in Lae on Saturday.
The round-seven win at Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium saw hosts Poro dash Sepik’s hopes of a fifth-straight win as the visitors dropped a spot to third on the conference ladder.
Bara climbed a spot to second after their 3-1 win over Markham Raings. Morobe Tulip beat Rainy Lae 5-3 and visitors Tusbab Laidamon defeated Pacific Gardens 3-1 in the other matches of the conference.
Eyeing an upset, Sepik’s Sharlyn Jagi, Joelyn Aimi, Levennah Karo and Juaneth Misterah applied pressure on Poro’s backline of Georgina Bakani, Anastas Gunemba, Agai Max and Honoria Kaizam.
But coach Gorden Torovu’s visitors couldn’t convert the pressure into points as Poro held on before the home side opened the scoring through Daisy Tokolik in the 18th minute.
After halftime, Sepik stepped up to keep play in Poro’s territory but the Troy Gunemba-coached side were up to the contest to deny any attempts on goal.
Poro then extended their lead when Meagan Gunemba delivered a cross which deflected off Sepik goalkeeper Pauline Nusai before falling into the path of Freeda Ronny who found the back of the net.
Meagan put Poro further in front when she scored off a throw-in by Kaizam.
The hosts sealed the match a minute later when Meagan and Tokolik set up Ronny for her second goal of the season.
Troy told The National after the game that Sepik had put them under pressure for large parts of the match despite the scoreline.
“My midfielders were unorganised,” he said.
“They didn’t play according to what was expected of them in the first half.
“But they stepped up in the second half and dominated possession to lay the foundation for our forwards to score goals.
“I thank Sepik for giving us a good challenge.”
Torovu said he was happy with his team’s performance despite the loss.
“Physiologically, we conceded defeat after the first goal,” he said.
“Most of my players are rookies in the competition.
“After four-straight victories, they thought that they would continue winning.
“So the loss is a good learning experience for us as we look to continue improving.”
By LARRY ANDREW