The National- Tuesday, January 11, 2011
PAPUA New Guinea put on good attacking football to beat Fiji 2-1 on day two of the OFC U17 championships at North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand, yesterday.
After losing to Vanuatu 2-0 in the opening match on Saturday, the PNG juniors shrugged off a strong challenge to come from a goal down midway in the first half to storm home.
PNG continued their attacking pattern which saw Wau prodigy Jason Farock come close in the 11th minute with an ambitious cross from the left flank which sailed behind for a goal kick.
Aryton Yagas had two opportunities soon after that.
In the 13th minute, he chipped a dangerous free kick into the box for PNG but Fiji goalkeeper Senirusi Bokini saved, and then he spoilt another chance minutes later.
Lahi U20 representative Rodney Mobiha came close in the 16th minute but his strike went wide of the goalmouth.
Despite having good possession PNG could not find the net.
In the 21st minute Fiji grabbed the lead when Al-taaf Sahib hit a spectacular long range effort over keeper Charles Lepani for one of the goals of the tournament.
Fiji controlled play for the rest of the half before PNG striker David Browne got on the end of a promising raid but failed to finish off the movement.
It was not until the 35th minute that PNG skipper Alwin Komolong put the game back on level pegging squeezing one past Bokini.
The game was marred by the red-carding of Lepani and Fiji captain Josaia Masiwini while PNG’s Jacob Sabua and Fiji’s Soheb Sheik were also cautioned
The halftime score was 1-1.
The second half began in even fashion and Sabua after being cautioned kept his cool finishing off a move finding the back of the net from the edge of the penalty area to put PNG in front 2-1.
Komolong was replaced while PNG continued to receive yellow cards to midfielder Samson Poesi and Yagas.
Fiji pressed for the equaliser in the dying minutes but PNG’s defensive cordon stood firm and wound the clock down to register their first win upsetting the highly favoured Fijians.