Hekari were travelling down the NSL highway at speeds that surpassed all other travelers (teams). Overtaking any team that stood in their way from game one they have proven beyond doubt that they are the team to beat. However, on Saturday they were met by a Pom FC side that has gradually increased its quality with each game.
Pom FC played their usual classy, patient football, knocking the ball around the pitch in an attempt to open up play for lone gunman Reginald Davani to finish, however, all their attempts at breaking the Hekari defense failed.
A few good balls from Pom FC’s Michael Foster at times looked like they would lead to something, but Hekari’s Pita Bolotoga and his defensive line played defensive football of a stellar nature that kept out wave after wave of Pom FC attack.
Hekari also tried to get themselves in front with a few good set plays down the flanks, even David Muta’s ingenious trick plays and wall pass exchanges with his team mates, though pleasing to the eye, resulted in no change to the score board.
The in-tune strike pairing of Kema Jack and Raymond Gunemba tried all afternoon to get their hands on some productive balls, only to be shut down at every turn.
Hope came just two minutes before half time when a tackle on Kema resulted in an in box penalty that was slotted away easily by Jack into the top right hand corner.
In the second half, the deadlock continued with neither team allowing the other to take a shot at goal. As the minutes ticked on, the rowdy crowd was sure of the outcome, another Hekari win. However, in the 67th minute a free kick was awarded to Pom FC when Neil Hans was brought down outside the box.
Being an excellent kick taker himself, the victim of the foul Hans took a free kick that had power, accuracy and a Beckham-like curve all fuzzed into one delivery. Hekari keeper Leslie Kalai did everything right getting a tip at the ball, but the power on the force proved too great, ripping through Kalai’s grasp and into the net.
The game ended a shocking 1-1. This draw is Hekari’s first of the season and is a big achievement for Pom FC who has tamed the giants by ending their winning streak.
In the game that followed, Eastern Stars FC, led by return skipper Josh Niebo, played an impressive game against equally talented NC Civil Oro FC that ended also in a deadlock with both teams securing a goal each at full time. Both teams grab a point each as a result.