The National, Monday May 18th, 2015
HEKARI United have put together the most successful premiership reign in Papua New Guinea soccer history, with nine consecutive titles since the National Soccer League started 10 years ago but that great run was ended on Saturday in Madang.
Local club Madang pulled off the upset of the decade, when they sent the favourites packing with a gutsy 3-2 semi-final win at Laiwaden Oval.
In the other semi-final, the Lae City Dwellers had too much firepower for Port Moresby, winning 3-1.
Madang club patron and Governor Jim Kas was lost for words as his team shocked the Reds and the PNG soccer fraternity, with a pulsating win over a team that has dominated the PNG football annals for the last decade.
The win was all the more impressive, considering this is Madang’s first year back in the league after a five-year absence and they had previously lost their two encounters against Hekari by fair margins (3-1 and 8-1). Madang is the unlikely grand finalist in this year’s decider and will take on the Lae City Dwellers on Saturday.
Governor Kas said the local team’s performance was one for the ages, with every player making a contribution and helping put the town and the province on the map as a force in soccer.
“We cannot ask for more as this unknown pack of players has delivered what the Madang soccer have been waiting and hoping for a long time,” Kas said.