With three more games remaining before they leave next week, the PNG men’s team are preparing well for the Noumea Games after they won by 2 goals to 1 in a tough match against Southport Warriors on a chilly evening at Moalla Drive.
Despite PNG dominating much of the first half Southport took a surprise lead after a defensive lapse in midfield. However Reggie Davani quickly equalised following a sharp passing movement from back to front and a clinical finish to the left of the Southport former Norwegian U-21 keeper.
Davani hit he crossbar from a fine header and good goalkeeping kept the scores level at half time.
Both teams rang the changes in the 2nd half and with time running out and a draw looking on the cards, Andrew Lepani popped up and scored from a set piece corner to give the team 2 starts and 2 wins so far during their Gold Coast preparations.
Unlike the men’s team who already played five lead up matches in June in Australia, our women have just arrived and have also proven themselves too good in their first Australian lead up match, after defeating the Southport women 2 goals to 0. The evergreen Miriam Lanta opened the scoring in the first half and Deslyn Sinui secured the win with a cool finish late in the game.
After a delay with their visas last week in Port Moresby, the whole team comprising of twenty three players and 4 officials are now in Australia at the Sports Super Centre, with the last three players joining the rest of the team on Wednesday.
All in all a positive night out for both teams but still hard work ahead over the coming days.
Both the women and the men’s will be in Australia for another 7 days, playing three more games before they leave on the 25th of this month for Noumea.
Thursday evening sees them take on the Palm Beach Sharks whilst on Sunday both teams travel to Brisbane to play The Brisbane Strikers and Queensland Academy of Sport Women respectively.