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Men’s Championships a success

The recent tournaments in Papua New Guinea province Madang followed a round-robin format where each team had a share of equal matches before going into the knock-out stages.

Hot favourites for the title in the U-17 division included Lae Football Association, Madang Soccer Association, Wau and Bulolo who all fought hard in the semi-final round, however only two sides could take that honour.

Home-side Madang defeated Lae 3-0 while Bulolo dominated their game to successfully beat Wau 2-1 to progress.

In the U-20 division Port Moresby’s PSSA went into the tournament as underdogs and failed to get their football techniques to work, finally hanging up their boots following defeat to Madang while Lae scored were also able to qualify for the finals.

Madang took advantage of playing on home ground and proving too tough for Lae in the U-20 final, while the junior side locked horns with Bulolo in the U-17 final.

Players from the teams who participated in the championship now form the pool of potential candidates set to undergo intensive training in order to qualify for a spot in the U-17 and U-20 national sides.

The preliminary tournament to qualify for the OFC U-17 Championship, in which American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga will participate, is set to take place in Samoa on January 22-26 2013.

The winner of this tournament will join Papua New Guinea, Fiji, New Zealand, Tahiti, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands in Vanuatu for the OFC U-17 Championship – which acts as a qualifier for the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup being held in United Arab Emirates from October 17 – November 8.

Papua New Guinea will also be sending a side to Fiji in March to participate in the OFC U-20 Championship where they will by vying with New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu for the Oceania berth at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey from June 21-July 13.

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