April 17, 2010
AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea’s Hekari United have stunned Waitakere United 3-0 in the first-leg final of the 2010 O-League at PMRL stadium in Port Moresby on Saturday to set up a crucial return leg at Fred Taylor Park on Sunday 2 May.
Local hero Kema Jack scored a goal in each half while Solomon Islands import Alick Maemae added a third to help Hekari move a step closer to the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2010.
As Papua New Guinea’s first representative in an O-League Final, Hekari stepped up against the two-time champions with a classy display in front of 15,000 partisan supporters while Waitakere struggled in the testing conditions as temperatures rose to 30 degrees.
While the result may come as a surprise to some, Hekari coach Jerry Allen says his side were quietly confident all along.
“We were looking forward to this game because we knew we had done everything we could to prepare,” says Allen.
“I’m fortunate to have some very experienced players in my team and they showed their quality today. We’ll be confident now heading into the second leg but of course the colder weather will be tough.”
Meanwhile Waitakere player-coach refused to blame his side’s performance on the stifling conditions.
“The weather is the same, the pitch is the same for both teams so we can’t make any excuses. Hekari just scored three goals today and we didn’t.”
“We wanted to come back with a closer score but Hekari played very well today. So we’ll just have to be at our best in two weeks time when they come to our place.”
Waitakere asserted the early pressure and almost went ahead in the 2nd minute when Neil Emblen’s shot from just outside the box rocked off the crossbar.
Hekari’s Maemae also hit the bar in the 19th minute before Roy Krishna went close a minute later down the other end of the field striking the ball into the side netting.
On 27 minutes, Waitakere goalkeeper Danny Robinson came out to the edge of his area to collect a deep ball over the tap but failed to take it cleanly leaving Papua New Guinea international Jack to run through and score into an open net, setting off wild celebrations from the home fans.
Waitakere nearly equalised just before half-time when Krishna went on another surging run down the left and hit a low cross to Solomon Islands speedster Benjamin Totori whose shot hit the post.
If Totori wasn’t quite on song, his compatriot Maemae certainly was with a quality strike from 25 yards in the 49th minute to double Hekari’s lead. The Solomon Islands international was again in the action in the 73rd minute, this time weaving into the box down the left and putting a low cross in for striker Jack to slot the ball home from the penalty spot.
Both teams now head into the second leg at Watakere’s Fred Taylor Park on Sunday 2 May with Oceania’s US$500,000 playoff spot at the FIFA Club World Cup on the line.
2010 O-LEAGUE 1st LEG FINAL RESULT
Match: Hekari United FC [PNG] vs. Waitakere United [NZL]
Date: Saturday 17 April 2010
Venue: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Stadium: PMRL Stadium
Kick Off: 15h00 (Local time)
Referee: Gerard PARSONS [AUS]
Assistant Referee: Murray WILSON [AUS]
Assistant Referee: Alex GLASGOW [AUS]
Fourth Official: John SAOHU [SOL]
Hekari United FC: 3 (Kema JACK 27’, 73’, Alick MAEMAE 49’)
Waitakere United: 0
Hekari United line-up: 20. Gure GABINA [GK], 2. Gideon OMOKIRIO, 4. Cyril MUTA, 9. Tuimasi MANUCA (18. Eric KOMENG 76’), 12. David MUTA (c) (7. Benjamin MELA 87’), 16. Pita BOLATONGA, 17. Kema JACK, 19. Koriak UPAIGA, 25. Stanley WAITA, 26. Alick MAEMAE, 28. Henry FA’ARODO
Substitutes not used: 1. Godfrey BANIAU [GK], 5. Brian TUHIANA, 8. Michael FOSTER, 13. Andrew LEPANI, 23. Samuel KINI
Coach: Jerry ALLEN [SOL]
Yellow cards: Alick MAEMAE 45’
Red cards: Nil
Waitakere United line-up: 1. Danny ROBINSON [GK], 2. Jason ROWLEY, 3. Aaron SCOTT (10. Allan PEARCE 78’), 4. Tim MYERS, 7. Martin BULLOCK, 8. Brent FISHER, 9. Benjamin TOTORI (19. Dakota LUCAS 88’), 11. Neil SYKES (c), 12. Roy KRISHNA, 16. Neil EMBLEN, 21. Jack PELTER (27. Paul SEAMAN 84’)
Substitutes not used: 13. Dimas DA SILVA, 18. Zane SOLE, 20. Ryan DE VRIES, 22. Liam LITTLE [GK], 27 Paul SEAMAN
Coach: Neil EMBLEN [ENG]
Yellow cards: Tim MYERS 34’
Red cards: Nil
story courtesy of OFC Media, full details of the 2010 O-League can be found at www.oceaniafootball.com