By HENRY MORABANG
CMSS Tigers’ lived up to their never-say die motto and came behind to force a 1-1 draw against giant-killers University Inter FC in the Telikom National Soccer League match played at PRL Stadium in Port Moresby on Saturday.
Tigers had four clear opportunities in the opening half through flanker Ian Yanum but the crossbar decided otherwise and inexperience young striker Bruce Kusunan bungled a good chance in the first half.
Kusunan, who usually comes off the reserve bench, was in the starting line-up providing support for veteran campaigner Raymond Gunemba in the forwards.
University also had their share on scoring opportunities but their striker Ben Lakasa and Tau Winnie decided to have a day off with their boots.
Skipper Hamson Daniel, Clement Peka, Roniel Igens and Eric Willie provided all the support but their strikers failed to find the net.
After a scoreless opening half, both teams entered the second with more determination and vigour.
University were first to find the net through reserve flanker Clifford Aumae after Tigers goalkeeper Ronald Warisae fumbled the ball in the goalmouth to see Aumae easily slotting the ball home.
After that goal, University mounted a strong brick wall defence but Tigers’ persistence paid off when the reserve striker sliced the ball through University defence to find Sowera Guti, who curved the ball to the far corner for the equaliser.
Both teams tried their best in the last 15th minutes to score but time ran out on them.
In the early match, Hekari United bade farewell to their guest coach Tommy Mana of Solomon Islands with a 3-0 victory when they silenced Gelle Hills.
Striker Joachim Waroi started the trifecta victory in the 10th minute before flanker Michael Foster added the double while striker Kema Jack scored right at the half time to put Hekari in the comfortable position.
In the second half, the match never reached any great heights as both teams started to employ rough tactics that cost them dearly.
Central referee Job Minan did not hesitate to dish out red cards to Pita Bolatoga of Hekari and Traves Kwa of Gelle Hills for their unsportsmanship behaviour.
Other players who were booked by referee were Hekari flanker Tasola Niebo and Hills captain David Taro.
The game between Niupetro Fox and Eastern Stars in Madang and Tukoko University Lae versus Besta PNG Utd in Lae were deferred to New Year.