PNG’s Hekari United have retained their position at the top of the Telikom National Soccer League table with a 3-1 victory over Besta PNG United, but the defending champions were made to work hard for it.
Urged on by a rampant home crowd, Besta PNG United gave the visitors from Port Moresby a real run for their money as they locked them out of the game for the first 20 minutes.
At that moment, Hekari’s Tutizama Tanito sent the ball from the left-hand corner of the field to find Nigel Dabinyaba in front of the goal who headed home the opener.
Behind by one goal, Besta increased their tempo and peppered the Hekari goal with their attempts to earn the equaliser.
Poor finishing combined with relentless defending on their opponents part meant the home side went into the break with a lot of ground to make up.
Besta picked up where they left off as play resumed in the second-half, creating some exciting attacks which finally paid off when Lui Kataka slammed home in the 69 minute to level the score in-line and sending the crowd at Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium into a frenzy.
Unfortunately Hekari soon rallied to show why they are the undisputed champions of PNG football as they chipped away at the Besta defence which eventually broke down, allowing Dabinyaba to add his second.
Hekari’s Fijian import Tuimasi Manuca proved his value when he sealed the victory on the stroke of full-time.
In other Round 3 NSL action at the weekend, Morobe’s Gigira Laitepo came from behind against Admirality to secure a 2-2 draw, while Lae FC collected the three points after a Clement Peka first-half strike was enough to secure his side a 1-0 win over Oro.