The Besta Cup tournament, played over three days, did not have the defending champions, the Port Moresby Soccer Association (men and women), but saw seven teams, Madang, Kimbe and Kainantu in the women’s pool while Lae, Madang, Manus, Goroka and Higaturu competed in the men’s division.
In the women’s final, Madang edged Kimbe 3-2 in the extra time. The scores were locked 2-2 at full time but Madang managed to finish strongly and to come away with the win.
For the men’s final, favourites LFA were matched by the Chaukas as the game seesawed from the opening whistle, Manus’ Richard Lote scored in the 23rd minutes after some deft play by the Manus mid-field.
LFA were sparked into action by the goal and pushed hard for the reply. Alex Kamen latched onto a pass to slot in the equaliser close to half-time.
In the second half with the supporters from both teams chanting the momentum of the match seemed to sway with every drive.
Manus kept their structure to pry open LFA’s defence two more times in the 47th and 59th minutes courtesy of Shane Sakael to extend their tally to 3-1.
The Manusians went into defensive mode after their last score, with the instruction from their coach, Peter Sakael.
LFA’s strike weapon Kamen weaved his magic again in the 79th minute to drag his side to within a point of drawing even.
But Manus wall proved impenetrable over the final 10 minutes as the team from the country’s northern reaches landed the coveted silverware.
All the teams that took part in the finals were given a cash prize, with the forth place walk away with K5000, third place K10, 000, second place K15, 000 and first place K20, 000 respectively in the men’s and women’s divisions.