Top teams revive feud

Normal, Sports

The National, Friday 11th November 2011

THE moment of truth has arrived for both Hekari United and City Pharmacy Eastern Stars when they meet in round five of the Telikom National Soccer League this weekend in Port Moresby.
Stars under Chilean coach Luiz Gomez have yet to make an impact in the semi-professional competition having won, lost and drawn in their three matches in the 2011-12 season.
Stars assistant coach Eddie Omokirio will be calling on his fellow Solomon Islanders in fullback Timothy Joe, David Taro and flanker Karrol Kakate to lead in what is the clash of the heavyweights of PNG soccer.
Further bolstering Stars’ attacking arsenal are Eliud Fugre and Pascal Worjen – both formerly of Morobe United in Lae – and the Milne Bay flagship should have enough fire power to match their highly fancied and well-drilled Hekari team.
Omokirio also has a quality bench at his disposal with such talented locals as Felix Bondaluk, Desmond Waku and Lap Embel who can come into the game and provide the spark for Stars.
For the second year franchise Stars this could be their best chance to snare a momentum-building victory over the competition benchmark.
 Exciting flankers Abraham Zino Enoch and Fabian Bagi have showed the ability to create opportunities for their inside men and are expected to pepper the Hekari box throughout the match.
Stars franchise owner Joseph Ealadona said his boys were looking forward to the game.
Both sides have developed a healthy rivalry after their clashes last season culminating in their  face-off in the NSL grand final.
Hekari’s experience and composure earned them the silverware last year but for this game the scales are looking more balanced  and it should be a thriller at the Bisini soccer ground.
“We are trying to bounce back and hope we can do this in this game.
“I am confident and the boys are confident and we should have a good game and push Hekari,” Ealadona said.
Hekari’s local stars proved their mettle in Vanuatu last month and David Muta, Samuel Kini, Andrew Lepani, Eric Komeng, Neil Hans, Nigel Dabinyaba and Raymond Gunemba will take that confidence into the clash.
Hekari’s three recruits from Fiji in Maciu Dunadamu, Taniela Waqa and Pita Bolaitoga are likely to take the field adding another dimension to the Reds play and setting up a potential barnburner.
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Assistant coach Mathew Witu has been working with the boys for this all-important match against arch rival Eastern Star.
Attempts to contact team manageress Vonnie Kapi-Natto were unsuccessful.
In other matches, Besta PNG United will play Tukoko University at Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium while Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV) Bulolo United FC travel to Goroka to play Petro Souths at the National Sports Institute.