At the Sir John Guise stadium in Port Moresby, the Pacific Assurance Group-backed team put up a sizzling performance in the second half, before the heavy downpour, to thrash a fatigued-looking Eastern Stars FC 3-0. Meanwhile in Lae, Oro FC got the better off Welgris Highlanders FC, edging them 2-1.
After a scoreless first half, FC POM came back strongly to set up continuous raids deep into Stars territory. Stars were looking weary after returning from their mid-week 1-1 draw with WNB Tavur FC in Kimbe.
Stars dominated play early on, with midfielder Richard Matanga and skipper Joshua Niebo calling the shots. Striker Patrick Aisa, Junior Sasu and Aquila Emil Jr also featured.
But FC Port Moresby scored the first goal when a powerful 40m strike by midfielder Roniel Igens whizzed past Eastern Stars goalkeeper Peter David. Ten minutes later, FC POM capitalised on the tiring Stars to score again through Reginald Davani.
The PNG striker received a good low ball from midfielder Michael Foster to extend the lead 2-0. In the dying minutes, Alwin Komolong got his name into the official record book when he beat the Stars fullback to cushion their lead with a beautiful goal.
In the earlier game, Hekari United FC had to work hard to win 1-0 over Gigira Laitepo Morobe United FC. As anticipated it was the clash of midfielders, David Muta and young Emmanuel Simon who kept the crowd roaring.
Hekari were made to work hard until striker Joachim Waroi headed in the first and only goal of the match. The Solomon Islands striker received a good cross ball from flanker Eric Komeng and headed into the net.
Morobe had only themselves to blame because defenders Valentine Nelson, Jeremy Yasasa, Begen Yanum and Trevor Kwa failed to meet the challenge. Morobe coach Jack Jonathan will have to cut down on complacency in the backline if they are to contest for the NSL premiership.
Lae hosted the NC Civil Oro and Welgris FC to when Oro also made their apprearance on the NSL ladder defeating Welgris 2-1 to sit on fifth position after missing on the opening rounds of the semi professional competition while the Besta PNG United vs WNB Tavur game was deferred to this Wednesday February 20 in Lae.
Jonathan and his team manager Toki Mambare admitted that their backline needed to improve. The other match between Besta United PNG and WNB Tavur in Lae did not take place because of logistics problems.
The unofficial ladder:
Hekari 9, Besta 6, Eastern Stars 4, FC Port Moresby 3, Morobe 3, Oro 3, WNB Tavur 1 and Welgris Highlanders 0.