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Gunemba hat-trick inpsires PNG to victory

The Bisini venue was packed to capacity as the match kept everyone on their toes as the PNG women led by a feisty Gunemba sent the Fijians packing.

PNG grabbed their first when Gunemba calmly struck a penalty goal after Fijian keeper Mereoni Yabakidrau took out an advancing Marie Kaipu right at the 30 minute mark to lead 1-0.

While the momentum going for PNG, a free kick awarded to PNG saw Gunemba huddling in between the Fiji defense while Kaipu and Georgina Kaikas shifted a spot kick into a waiting Gunemba who hooked the ball in, spun around to slam the ball home to a loud cheering crowd.

The Fijians were somewhat subdued with the rising yellow card rate. While the home-side cruised on with the upper hand going 2-0 at half-time.

The second half of the match was hotly contested as the Fijians sensing defeat pressed hard but it was easily doused at the 53rd minute as Gunemba rocked in her third goal.

PNG were fast and executed their attacks to near-perfection, which was unmatched by the Matelita Vuakoso-led Fiji side.

Matters took a high tempo as a fiery young Ramona Padio coming in for Carolyn Obi increased the volume of attack on the Fijians.

Padio’s insistence was then paid in full as she powered in her first ever national goal extending PNG’s lead to 4-0 over Fiji.

Fiji took consolation when Sonali Rao capitalised as PNG keeper Fidelma Watpore left her goal mouth open for Fiji to take one but it was all for naught as the ensuing play saw Fatima Rama coming in for Georgina Kaikas sending the crowd into raptures with an impressive strike slipped in between Vuakoso to make it 5-1.

The match saw one of the best performance by a PNG women’s soccer team against a Fijian side which, despite their size and physicality, failed to rattle the home side.

The women play their second game on Saturday 3:00 pm against Cook Islands.

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