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Papua New Guinea

Unified Football heads into second round

Special Olympics Papua New Guinea's Unified Football saw its second round of competition today.

A total of 22 teams both male and female have registered for the competition which saw its first round held last weekend at the Sir John Guise Sport Precinct.

The variant of the global sport specifically for children with special needs has seven players in a side and play each way for 10 minutes.

The sport has its following from within and outside Port Moresby and has proven popular for children and their families.

Competition Manager Willie Vaira said competition is picking up well with a few technical issues that will be resolved as the competition progresses.

A player not listed in Vabukori Team One team sheet scored a goal leading to Vaira forfeiting Vabukori's win.

Despite winning by a margin of 5-0, Vaira forfeited the match in favour of PAPS citing Vabukori’s failure to satisfy match day requirements.

In the women's, Barakau got back in the winners’ circle after going down to defending champions Gereka last week.

Coach Ralph Henao was excited with his team's performance as they hitched two goals through Samantha Maiasa and Evangeline Loa.

Maiasa was the standout player in the match making sure they had an edge over Wildlife Disability Association, winning 2-1 at the final whistle.

Henao said the girls are slowly improving and hopes the team can improve as the competition goes on.

“We will go back and assess what we achieved today.

“I am satisfied with the win and hope we can do that next week as well,” Henao said.

Vaira added that the competition will go for a further two weeks before the finals on the 7th of September.

“Early favourites in the women’s are Gereka while in the men's Red Cross are looking good,” Vaira said.

He also reminded club executives to be vigilant on their players’ medical checks before allowing them to play.

Meanwhile, Vaira said a total of 15 athletes from the football competition were scouted by AFL PNG to participate in an invitational AFL match in Brisbane in October.

The Unified Football Competition is in its fourth year running and is conducted in partnership with PNG Sports Foundation's Ability Sports Program and Special Olympics Papua New Guinea.

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