Hekari were hoping to extend the lead at the top of the table but Stars had other plans shutting down the vaunted Hekari attack.
The Star’s defensive allignment of Jeremy Yasasa, Timothy Joe, Joshua Niebo and David Taro (until red carded) combined to foil Hekari’s dangermen in Vanuatu striker Jean Kaltack and Kema Jack.
Contrastingly, Stars strikers, Lap Embel and Felix Bondaluk lacked composure and seemed to rush their kicks.
Midfielder Michael Foster making his debut for Stars struggled dcue to injury which affected his combination with midfield partner Eliud Fugre..
Hekari’s astute backline led by Koriak Upaiga, John Namani, Andrew Lepani and Fijian Isoa Donaldson were up to the task.
In the midfield, David Muta, Clifton Aumaeand Erick Komeng played their best to support their strikers.
With both sets of defenders effective at snuffing out every potential threat the score reamined 0-0 at halftime.
In the second half Stars had several opportunities but failed to score. Likewise Hekari were also guilty of missing some goal scoring chances.
Credit must also go to the two goalkeepers – Leslie Kalai from Hekari and Gure Gabina from Eastern Stars who played well throughout the match.
The game was fiery at times but Goroka referee Mairi Noni made good use of the yellow and red cards to ease the tension.
Noni red carded David Taro and John Namani who are likely to miss two NSL matches for dangerous play.
In the other matches in Lae at the PNGFA Football Academy, hosts Besta PNG united held Tukoko University at a 1-1 draw.
The NSL points ladder as of Saturday; Hekari United sitting on top with 10 points, Gigira Laitepo on 9 points, Eastern Stars on 5 followed by MMJV Bulolo United and Besta PNG United both sharing 4 points, NBS Tukoko 1 and Petro Souths 0 points.
Other games for Lae at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium have been put on hold until furhter notice due to the unrest.
Bulolo’s game against Souths in Goroka was also deferred