Madang claim their maiden victory at the Oceania Football Confederation Champions League outclassing Lupe Ole Soaga of Samoa 4-3 in a see-sawing seven goal Group A thriller at Stade Numa Daly in Noumea, New Caledonia yesterday evening.
Lupe Ole Soaga have been one of the best performing teams to have come through qualifier and their fighting spirit is a large part of that success.
However on this occasion Madang proved they wanted it just that little bit more.
“It showed on the field that the boys wanted it more than our brothers from the other side,” Madang coach Francis Moyap said.
“It was a must for us to win this game because like we said, we are going to be competitive here and that’s what we did tonight.”
It was no walk in the park for the Papua New Guinea side however as a strike from Cherbel Khouchaba just three minutes in gave Lupe Ole Soaga the lead.
They didn’t hold the advantage long at all with Patrick Aisa hitting back just two minutes later, before Madang took the lead in the 13th minute courtesy of a Stahl Gubag strike.
After the break Lupe pulled themselves back in line after Khouchaba converted from the spot and they then took the lead for a second time in the encounter following a Lapalapa Toni strike.
It looked like Lupe might be heading for an historic first-time victory for the club, however Madang saw their opponent was tiring and pounced.
Goals to Michael Tole and Samuel Kini within a five minute window saw Madang snatch the lead late, and they managed to hold on until the final whistle.
It was a disappointing end to the match for Paul Ualesi who, for a brief moment, though history was in his side’s hands.
“Hard luck to the boys. I think the last 12 minutes of the game cost us as we were leading but Madang managed to come from behind,” he said.
“I thought we were good in the first 20 minutes but the comeback from Papua New Guinea was very good and it was hard for us to manage them.”
The four sides in Group A will return to Stade Numa Daly on Friday for their final matches in Stade Numa Daly, New Caledonia.