|Hekari United [Photo by http://www.sun.com.fj/]|
Hekari Souths United of Papua New Guinea has gone on top of Group B after its 1-0 victory over Lautoka at Churchill Park this afternoon.
Lautoka failed to live up to expectation in the much awaited match and indiscipline in the players saw the hosts finishing the match with only nine players.
After a goal-less first half, Solomon Islands international Henry Faarado struck the lone goal for the visitors in the 54rd minute of play.
Lautoka had its fair bit of chances to equalize but poor finishing and indiscipline proved to be the costly factors.
Lautoka now slips to the second spot with nine points while Tafea FC of Vanuatu which drew 0-0 against Marist in another Group B fixture today is in third spot with 8 points.
Hekari coach Tommy Mana who also coached the Navua side along with Gurjit Singh last season was elated with the win and commended his players for the fine effort.
"This win is a bonus for us and we are very happy to return from Fiji with three points."
"We have grabbed the lead on the points table and will look to maintain this fine form in the next match and qualify for the final."
"Lautoka was a good team but we had our strategies set right for this match and scored the goal which gave us the win."
"I am well versed with Fijian football and the 5-3-2 pattern that is commonly played here and this helped me with setting my game plan for the match."
Lautoka president Shalendra Prasad was gracious in defeat and said Hekari was the better team of the day.
"Lautoka played well but our players failed to capitalize on their chances and indiscipline was another factor that let us down."
"We still have one match remaining in the group and are hoping for the best in our final match against Tafea which will be an away match."
"We will miss two key players in the final match also so things will be pretty hard but we will prepare well and go for a win in the game" he added.
Lautoka travels to Port Villa to play Tafea FC on March 28 while Hekari plays Marist FC in Honiara.
Hekari United FC: 2. Gideon Omokirio, 4. Cyril Muta,9 .Tuimasi Manuca, 11. Joachim Waroi (17.Kema Jack), 12. David Muta (C), 16. Pita Bolaitoga, 19. Koriak Upaiga, 20. Gure Gabina (GK), 25. Stanley Waita (18.Eric Komeng) , 26. Alick Maemae, 28. Henry Faarado.
Reserves: 1.Godfrey Baniau, 6. Eddie Ngaitin, 7. Benjamin Mela, 13. Andrew Lepani, 15. Charles Paranda, 17. Kema Jack, 18.Eric Komeng.
Shop and Save Lautoka: 2. Samuela Kautoga, 3. Alvin Avinesh (C), 6. Malakai Waqa, 7. Valerio Nawatu ( 13.Apisai Smith), 10. Kamal Hassan, 5. Marika Madigi, 16. Jone Vono (17. Arvindra Naidu), 9. Leone Vurukania, 15. Osea Vakatalesau, 22. Alivereti Baleloa (GK), 12. Salesh Kumar.
Reserves: 4. Semesa Nakosia, 11. Sailesh Samy, 13. Apisai Smith, 14. Elvin Prasad, 17. Arvindra Naidu, 1. Pramesh Prasad.