UNIVERSITY Inter FC were taught a footballing lesson in the semi-final of the Telikom National Soccer League on Saturday when they were crushed 7-1 by a rampant Hekari United.
Morobe soccer, on the other hand, has something to celebrate after Gigira Laitepo advanced to their first cup final after edging CMSS Tigers 1-0 in the other semi-final at Lloyd Robson Oval.
Hekari stamped their authority to score seven goals past Esiloan University Inter FC.
Solomon Islands import Alick Maemae again showed his class to collect a double himself to give the O-League finalists a comfortable victory.
And it could have been worse for Universityafter two goals were ruled off-side before Fijian fullback Pita Bolatoga headed the first goal of the day from cross by Maemae just meters from the penalty box.
Striker Kema Jack scored the first of his hat-trick in the 40th minute to put Hekari 2-0 and in control by half time.
In the second half, Hekari used the wet surface courtesy of a passing shower, controlling the ball much better than University.
With a good build-up from midfield by Stanley Waita and David Muta, flanker Erickson Komeng deftly set a flying Maemae who blasted the first goal of the second half to lift the score to 3-0.
University, sensing the game was slipping away, injected some new blood in Harold Demo who delivered to narrow the deficit 3-1.
After Demo’s goal, the floodgates opened as Hekari hit back with Jack hitting his second goalin the 71st minute before Maemae’s second in 78th.
Kema completed his treble a minute later while captain Andrew Lepani capped off another dominant display by Hekari in the 89th minute.
The NSL grand final will see for the first timers Gigira Laitepo Morobe FC taking on defending premiers Hekari United on April 24.
Hekari will play the first O-League final on April 17 at Lloyd Robson Oval.
Meanwhile, Gigira broke the Port Moresby dominance in the NSL becoming the first out-of-town team to make the final.
Gigira edged out CMSS Tigers 1-0 to secure the last grand final berth in a tense if not quiet match.
Gigira now have the unenviable task of taming a seemingly unstoppable Hekari in the grand final while Esiloan will challenge CMSS Tigers for third spot. The second semi-final between Gigira and the Tigers did not reached any great heights and certainly did not produce the same excitment as the first match.
Played under the soggy conditions following brief showers, both teams could not showcase their potential as grand final contenders against Hekari outfit oozing with class in the upcoming final.
Morobe’s goal was scored by Kohu Liam while flanker Armstrong Peka, midfielders Essau Nassa and Eliude Fugre plus African Pascal Wojen and Nathaniel Lepani tried their best but could not find the net.
CMSS Tigers also had their chances through striker Raymond Gunemba who was closely marked by Morobe defenders in Rodney Talau, Sammy Hiob and Roger Miamba.
The opening half remain scoreless until in the dying minutes of the match, Morobe scored their only goal from reserve midfielder Liam slotted the match-winner.