It was double victory for LFA, claiming both the men’s and women’s titles in the Momase leg challenge to advance into defending their Besta Cup title.
Earlier in the day, LFA edged out host Wau to win its back to back title in the women’s grand final. For the men’s challenge, it was a hard fought battle because they were given a strong challenge and had to dig deep to survive the long road to victory.
The men’s encounter was the highlight of the four day tournament which kicked off last Friday, attracting teams from Madang, Lahi, Bulolo, LFA and host Wau. The final match of the tournament went right down to the wire with LFA dorminant in the opening minutes of the game.
National Soccer League semi professional player Ian Yanum put LFA in front from a brilliant corner kick which found the net 10 minutes into the game.
However, Madang regrouped and continued to mount attack on LFA’s territory, resulting in Neil Hans levelling the score at half time. It was a silly error by LFA’s semi professional goal keeper, Ronald Warisan that resulted in the equaliser. Madang came back strongly in the second half, boosted by the earlier goal with outstanding player Hans scoring his double to take over the lead at 2-1.
But the defending champions fought back to level the score mid way into the second half from a direct penalty after a Madang defender was booked for a hand ball in the penalty box.
Yanum found no mistake to level the score, forcing the match into extra time.
Extra time, the game was evenly fought with the match ending up in a penalty shoot out going to LFA’s favour to bring the Cup back to Lae city. Bulolo’s Roselyn Chris picked up the fair play award in the women’s competition, while Hans Tupio from Madang collected the men’s award. Bulolo also collected the fair play team award in the women’s and Lahi for the men’s challenge.