A HAT-TRICK by Jamal Seeto propelled Morobe United to a 4-0 thrashing of Lae in the opening round of the Telikom National Soccer League.
The Gigira Laitepo-sponsored outfit lead the league after draws were recorded in the other two fixtures of the first round on Saturday.
Defending champions Hekari United were held to a 1-1 draw by Eastern Stars while Oro and the debuting Admiralty also tied with the same score line in a double-header at Port Moresby’s Bisini soccer ground.
Seeto, a former Besta United striker, was rushed into Morobe’s starting XI the day of the match.
The final year engineering student repaid the faith with a three-goal blitz in the space of 10 minutes in the second half to set up the convincing win at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium.
A jubilant Toki Mambare, the man responsible for Seeto’s off-season acquisition said the club’s money was well spent – Seeto’s 2014 tuition was covered by Morobe FC.
After a scoreless first half, Morobe coach Paisa Sami demanded more from his boys and got the desired response.
Right winger Sammy Hiob collected a Hanson Topio-pass to score the first goal while Seeto shredded Lae’s defensive formation thrice in a master class performance.
In Port Moresby, the late injection of star import Jean Kaltack by Hekari coach Jerry Allen in the 80th minute did not have the desired impact as the defending champions had to settle for a tame 1-1 draw with the Milne Bay franchise.
Stars’ Felix Bondaluk scored the opener but would be kicking himself for missing a free kick that would have clinched his side victory.
Raymond Gunemba scored Hekari’s goal.
“We have no excuses for today. I’m giving more game time to the local boys and they (local boys) have to prove their worth,” Jerry said.
In the opening match of the league, Manus’ Admiralty proved they were up for the challenge with a 1-1 draw with Oro.
In a scrappy affair Oro’s Chuckston Aopi scored for his side while Pettyshen Elijah bagged a goal for the newcomers.
Besta United had the bye.
The unofficial points ladder: Morobe United 3, Hekari 1, Stars 1, Oro 1, Admiralty 1, Lae 0, Besta 0.
Port Moresby (The National)