Madang FC and defending champions Toti City FC opened their 2018 National Soccer League campaigns on Saturday with comfortable wins.
At the Laiwaden oval in Madang, Madang FC beat new kids on the block FC Morobe Wawens 3-1 but were given a scare after trailing 0-1 at one stage.
At the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium, Toti City FC beat Besta PNG United 3-2 in the other NSL encounter.
Morobe Wawens showed that they were not in the semi-professional soccer challenge just to make up the numbers and wasted no time when they scored the first goal through a header from Donatus Bandi.
However, the tide shifted in favour of the home side thereafter when Wawen’s Kenneth Pilailo caused a penalty in the 13th minute that saw Madang capitalise. Vanya Malagian stepped up to take the kick and slotted it to level the scores at 1-1.
Despite a strong defence, Madang FC kept probing until Emmanuel Airem scored their second goal to make it 2-1 and send their supporters into frenzy.
Madang proved too strong in the second half with Airem surprising Wawen goalkeeper Alois John to pick up his second goal to make it 3-1 to the home side.
In the last 20 minutes, Wawen tried desperately to pull off a late comeback but Madang managed to hold on their defence to seal a 3-1 victory. Madang coach Mauri Wasi thanked his players for the result.
He was glad that the boys managed to win on home soil.
He said the team has been together for three weeks and with a big task playing at home soil, they managed to deliver in front of a packed Laiwaden Oval.