Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

OFC Champions League resumes with big wins for Auckland and Hekari United

Posted in Oceania Football by peterbein on February 13, 2010
FC Tafea

FC Tafea, perennial champions of Vanuatu, were defeated heavily away at Hekari United 4-0

The OFC Champions League, Oceania football’s showpiece club competition, resumed yesterday after a break of just over two months. With both of the four team groups having played up to the halfway point before Christmas each group resumed yesterday with matches that had major significance at the top of the respective tables. Defending champions Auckland City are in a good position to reach another final but there are still four other teams in each of the two groups who have ambitions of reaching the two-legged final on April 17th and May 2nd. “Stoppage Time” will review what has happened in the tournament so far:

GROUP A: Auckland City (Played 4 games/10 points), Waitakere United (3/5), AS Magenta (3/2), AS Manu Ura (4/1)

This group was always expected to be a two horse race between the great rivals of New Zealand football, Auckland City and Waitakere United, and their meeting scheduled for March 27th on the final matchday is already being touted as a possible group decider. After Matchday 3 the two Kiwi heavyweights were separated by just two points. Upon the resumption of the tournament it is Auckland City, the defending champions of Oceania, who have stolen a march on their rivals with a 2-0 away win in Tahiti against AS Manu Ura yesterday. Goals from Ian Hogg and Daniel Koprivcic were enough to give Auckland City, representatives in last year’s FIFA Club World Cup, three points and a healthy five point lead in the table before Waitakere United play their Matchday 4 game at home to French Polynesian side AS Magenta next Saturday.

GROUP B: Hekari United (Played 4 games/7 points), Tafea FC (4/7), Laukota FC (3/6), Marist FC (3/0)

At the halfway stage Group B was topped by Tafea FC, perennial champions of Vanuatu having won every league championship there since 1994, by just a point from Fijian side Laukota FC. With Papua New Guinea’s Hekari United on four points after three games one couldn’t discount their challenge in this tough group with only bottom side Marist FC from the Soloman Islands out of the running completely having lost all three group games so far. Yesterday the group was thrown wide open with a big 4-0 win for Hekari United at home to table-toppers Tafea FC. Goals from Alick Maemae (2), Tuimasi Manuca and Joachim Waroi allowed the Port Moresby based side to take the top spot on goal difference from Tafea. This result will give Laukota FC hope of stealing a march on the top two if they can overcome, as expected, the challenge of Marist FC tomorrow. This group could be decided by either the smallest of points margins or on goal difference as the top three will fight it out for the top spot which will guarantee a place in the O League final and the chance to qualify for the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup.

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3 Responses

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  1. cashlyn hami said, on February 13, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    A dissappointing lose by Tafea but keep your heads up, you are a champion and home grown club in the making with a long history in Vanuatu, as compared to others who are just makeshift clubs who will have no legecy in their own turf despite of their successes.

  2. Cornelius Bunbun said, on March 31, 2010 at 6:19 am

    That is very very true….Hekari though a successful club so far in PNG. PNG soccer standard is still below par….The real test will be to assemble a PNG national team and start moving up from being the last in the world to probably 139 etc..This is the reason why Kapi Nato had to go shopping in Solomon Islands, because all PNG boys so far have left Hekari because they could not deliver…
    What Hekari Management should have done is develope players and eg Michael Foster, he may be a good player but he doesn’t have the basic skills, Erickson Komeng also doesn’t have the skills.
    THe saddest PNG story is…since NSL…started…There was never a PNG national team match played…SO much for Hekari improving PNG soccer standard is all a wish ful thinking…PNG is still miles back…I do however will commend John for improving Hekari’s Representaive honor as Club soccer but not NG soccer, this is all about Money and not development. You have the money, you can buy..

    So far David Chung has not done anything to the rest of PNG community to improve rural soccer.

    To me, Hekari is all about John Kapi Nato’s Pride and not PNG Soccer.

    • Paulus said, on April 26, 2010 at 12:22 am

      I agree with you about PNG being below par…Here again, it is our players’ attitude and commitment that lacks not only in soccer but for almost every sport.

      To be honest, I totally disagree with the way you see Mr and Mrs John Kapi Natto’s efforts in bringing one club up to this level. John and Vonnie have been great campaigner’s for sports for almost their entire lives…from the simple humble begginings in the hamlets of Kutubu and Erave to Mendi and onto Port Moresby, their hard work has earned them respect so as God’s Blessing in their endeavours in business and other activities.

      John does not seek pride nor praise in all his contributions but you will know that truth if only you knew the man. I still remember John and Vonnie running Easter and Christmas competitions in Kutubu for youths especially from the surrounding villages and Erave where soccer and basketball are afternoon recreational activities.

      As far as Hekari is concerned, it all started off as PRK Souths in POM Soccer Leaugue as 1st Division, 2nd Division and on to Premier Division. during that time, most players were Southern Highlanders, especially John’s own relatives from Erave. Vonnie and John still did not limit their services to Soccer but sponsored and supported Souths Basketball club in NCD Basketball League/Competition both for males and females. John also went as far as sponsoring and playing Rugby Union with PRK Wanderers.

      From all these, you would get a clear picture of how committed these couple are for sports and youth’s affairs. Let me remind you that John Kapi Natto is the man behind NSL ‘to bring PNG Soccer standards up’ and its up to all other like-minded persons if any, to do the same with the same spirit, not only at the NSL level but from the rural areas up. Chung PNG FA really have to put their heart into developing Soccer and not just carrying the banner and doing nothing.

      More to say but will have to stop here until next time…

      I wish Hekari United all the best…you’re not only a club but are representing PNG as a country…We all believe you can beat Waitakere at their home-ground and represent Oceania in World Club Cup in Dubai – Play with the same spirit you showed at PRL on 17th April!!!!

      Thank you Vonnie and John for your wonderful efforts…

      Pole Ambu.


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