As part of the varied programme including half time competitions and Pikinini games with the Hekari School of Excellence a curtain raiser for the Besta FA Cup was a friendly match played between 9 Mile Soccer Association and Pom Suburban where the women’s team from 9 Mile defeated the Pom Suburban women, 2 goals to nil.
The Main game kicked off at 2pm. NSL top team captain, Kema Jack and his boys from Koupa Soccer Association went against the host, NCD PSSA described as a very tough game.
From the kickoff, both teams started in a strong and a very competitive battle in the first half. In possession of the ball was PSSA who made their first attempt but the shot landed straight in the hands of Koupa’s keeper.
Koupa then took over and from a throw in and managed to get to their opponents territory in an attempt to score but PSSA backline was tough and the ball was cleared. Kema Jack wouldn’t let his team down and in another attempt to score he sent send his shot over the bar.
Each side tried so hard to be the first to score but with the tight defense from each side, it was impossible as opportunities were wasted. However Koupa’s striker took a straight shot from the left corner of PSSA’s penalty area but PSSA’s keeper was smart enough to catch the ball before Kema Jacks heads it in. The game became aggressive and tougher as both teams struggled to score before the half time whistle.
The second half kicked off after the ten minute break and both sides gained momentum but failed to convert the opportunities they had by missing the target. The game was end to end and very open. Another attempt came from PSSA’s Bruce Kusunan but again the chance was wasted. The same applied at the other end with Koupa failing to take advantage some good buildup play.
In the 77th minutes PSSA took the lead one goal to nil when Albert scored the goal after receiving a cross, to side foot the ball into the empty net. The homeboys tried to score one more before Koupa could equalize but missed the opportunity and Koupa immediately punished them for this.
Receiving the ball down the right flank, Kema Jack took an early shot and the vicious right foot volley whistled past the PSSA keeper to score the equalizer in the 80th minute. PSSA were left speechless for missing their chance and the game was now all tied up at 1-1.
Deep into time added on, the Koupa defence failed to clear their lines and Wira Wama sinks the easiest of chances to score the second goal in the 94th minute.
With little time left the referee blows the final whistle with the full time score 2 – 1.
In a short interview, Koupa team captain, Kema Jack said Koupa played to their best but missed most of their opportunities due to communication breakdown amongst the players. Captaining NCD PSSA team, Eric Komeng also shared the same sentiment, saying the match was tough after a long while in the club championships and this is a good initiative to bring the level of the regional game to a higher level.
To start the awards presentation, LOC Chairperson, Mrs. Vonnie Natto, encouraged parents and the communities to assist in their development and involve young kids in the training at the Hekari School of Excellence, so that they can then grow up playing football in future to replace the outgoing stars in the country.
Senior Vice President for PNGFA, Mr. John Kapi Natto closed the tournament by thanking the associations for their participation and looked forward to increased participation in 2012.
The awards were presented to each association for taking part in the tournament while PSSA, being the top team of the tournament received the winner’s trophy. They will represent the Southern region in the second phase of the Besta FA Cup, competing with Hagen, Bougainville and LFA in the finals later in the year.