Lae City Dwellers prevailed over Welgris Morobe United in a strongly contested match at Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium 2-0, while Hekari United survived a hard-fought battle against Posman Kua Aisi Lawyers Rapatona to win 1-0.
Unofficially, Dwellers takes the lead on the National League stage followed by Hekari, Rapatona and Welgris on the tail of the ladder.
The Port Moresby’s Champions League challenge between Hekari and Rapatona was the best game seen for a long time.
The game was evenly-contested in all departments, with Hekari’s much better coordinated and well-drilled midfield the mainstay for the side.
PNG captain and Hekari midfielder David Muta was the man who kept his opposition guessing every time he touched the ball.
With the support of Emmanuel Simon and Wira Wama, the Hekari engine room gave PKA Rapatona opponents Samuel Kini (until replaced), Henry Ronnie and Kapret Tingut a hard time.
The opening half could have gone either way when both teams poured out everything they had but good goalkeeping by the two goalkeepers, Ismael Pole (Hekari) and John Bai (Rapatona) made a difference.
Both teams played strongly until Tommy Semmy beat Langarap Samol to set ever-ready Koriak Upaiga to score his 19th goal of the season in the 41st minute.
With less than four minutes left, Rapatona could not do much but to defend until half time.
In the second half, Rapatona came back much stronger, putting Hekari in all sorts of trouble up front.
Rapatona strikers Patrick Aisa, Ian Yanum and flanker Henry Ronny missed golden opportunities to equalize or win the match.
Hekari coach Jerry Allen said he was happy with the result.
“One goal is enough to set them up for the minor premiership against Lae City Dwellers,” he said.