Milne Bay striker, Anslem Edward scored a double as Tukoko Unversity celebrated a 2-1 win over Gigira Laitepo Central Coast in the Telikom National Soccer League challenge at the Bisini ground on Saturday.
But the win could not have come without questions over the match referee Hillary Ani’s ruling of a tackle by Tukoko Uni’s Lazarus Dapal on Coast striker Reginald Davani in the penalty area.
It could have provided an opportunity for Coast to take a spot kick and a chance to level the scores at 2-2 and force the game into grand stand finish.
Despite that it was 27 year old Edwin who shone for the visitors with his double. He scored the first goal for Tukoko when he slipped it past Coast stand-in goalkeeper Ilagi Geno to level the scores at 1-1.
The goal was initially triggered by Madang midfielder Hanson Trimo, who put a classic volley over some sloppy defence for Edwin to find the target. Minutes later, the pny tailed Edwin was in a clear gain to slot another and get his double and take Tukoko to a 2-1 lead.
Edwin who has only played matches this season credited team work for his two goals.
“Yes, Im proud of my two goals but it would not have come without the help of my teammates, I am really happy to help the team in winning the match” he said.
The Coast were the first to score when Nathaniel Lepani swerved a superb kick into the penalty area for Davani’s head to get past Tukoko goalkeeper Daniel Kali to lead 1-0.
But Tukoko came back with two fast goals before going into the break with a 2-1 lead.
The game intensified in the second spell but Coast were made to pay when their defender Jeremy Masalo was sent off. With a man down the visitors failed to make use of their numerical strength and at times took wrong options.
But Hanson, the son of former PNG representative Trimo Topio, was in the thick of things, with his sometimes deceiving footwork to aneuver his way around his opponents and set up his strikers Edwin, Daniel Paliau, Bobby Kabekabe, Fenny Manau and Gerald Lashel.
Tukoko’s other unsung heroes were Dapal, Goroba Tawa, Valentine Nelson and Malakai Ben, who put up a strong defensive line to deny Coast any chance of a comeback.
The other games between Hekari United and Petro Souths did not eventuate due to rain earlier in the day. However it is expected to take place before the end of the month.