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Papua New Guinea

Eastern Stars face huge task

Soccer
BY PRISCILLA HARRY

Eastern Stars are hoping for a miracle when they host Hekari United in the second match of the Kumul Petroleum National Soccer League southern conference of the home and away series at the PNG Football Stadium in Port Moresby tomorrow.

Despite the controversies arising from last Sunday’s semi-final match, hopefully Eastern Stars can put that behind them and focus on this important match.

The match will kick off at 3pm.

They will have to really dig deep to come up with at least four goals if they dream of making the grand final while denying their opponents from scoring.

With the stakes high and already in favour of Hekari United, it will be a tough task for the Stars who need a win as a draw will still not help and could see them saying goodbye to the season.

Coach Anthony Pakakota said so far they have done well this season and were hoping to finish the season on a high note.

He is also hoping the trio of Tau Winnie, Ian Paia and Andrew Lepani will be fit to take the field and provide a solid defensive line against their opponents.

“We will stand to the finish and I guess, it is just a start for Stars but we are taking the challenge to be better in the next NSL season,” he said.

The northern conference will see Toti City face Morobe United. Toti City beat 2-1 in the first of the home and away series.

It has been a hectic season, especially for Hekari United and more memorable for their young guns who have made their way up the ranks to compete at the NSL level.

Hekari United coach Jerry Allan is counting on skipper David Muta and Koriak Upaiga to be in charge of the game.

“We won’t be taking it easy against the Stars after an aggressive challenge in the last semi-final but we still will have to be strong due to the pressure mounting among the players, we are good to go,” he said.

NSL competition manager Leslie Babaga said the match would proceed as scheduled.

“However, we will observe this weekend’s match very closely.

If this happens for the second match in Port Moresby, we will make changes for the other match in Lae and try and bring in a neutral referee from Madang to officiate in Lae,” Babaga said.

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