13 Apr 2015

Sport: Hekari United gain O-League revenge

11:22 am on 13 April 2015

Papua New Guinea football winners Hekari United gained some revenge in their 3-2 Oceania Champions League victory over Tafea FC.

The Vanuatu champions Tafea won the corresponding fixture last year but Hekari went ahead in the opening minute and led 3-0 before Jean Kaltack pulled two goals back against his former team, to ensure a nervy finish.

Hekari chairman John Kapi Natto admits they were surprised by Tafea last year and says, while there's plenty to work on, the result sets them up well for a run at the playoffs.

"It was sort of a new combination and the chemistry the coach Jerry [Allen] was trying to build up and it worked very well. It was a bit rusty but Alick Maemae had a view of this, but I think in the first half it was excellent: the confidence was there, the chemistry was there and they blended very well. Into the second half I think maybe complacency, maybe [being too] relaxed tend to creep in. It's the first match and I think with the blending and the chemistry they held on and the victory came to us".

Meanwhile newcomers Team Wellington from New Zealand made a winning O-League debut, beating Tahiti's AS Tefana 2-1.

With one round complete, Hekari lead Group C on goals scored, Fiji's Ba and defending champions Auckland City atop Groups A and B respectively.

Hekari United players celebrate scoring a goal against Tafea FC.

Hekari United players celebrate scoring a goal against Tafea FC. Photo: Oceania Football