VFF, Port Vila: Vanuatu’s top league, the Port Vila Football League, has kicked off its 2004 Championship program on Saturday 27 March, with the reigning champions Tafea Football Club winning their first match against Tupuji Imere.
Despite losing their top strikers, Richard Iwai and Etienne Mermer, to the Queensland Premier Division club Mitchelton SC in February, Tafea FC came from behind to beat a determined Tupuji side 2 – 1. Tupuji opened the score in the first 10 minustes, but Tafea equalised minutes later and managed to add on another goal before half time, leaving the game at 2 -1 for Tafea after the first spell.
Tupuji came back controlling the most part of the second half, but with one of Oceania’s ranked players, Graham Demas, anchoring the Tafea defence and backed by former national defenders Joe Iautu and Tom Manses, life was not easy for the Tupuji forwards.
But Tupuji had the chance to equalise minutes before full time when former national Under 17 forward Fenedy Soromon trippled past the Tafea defence and set up for one of his wingers who placed the ball over an empty goal. Fenedy was back playing football again after disappearing from soccer since the 2001 Oceania U17 tournament in Port Vila. The stocky striker represented Vanuatu at the 2003 South Pacific Games with the national cricket team.
In the other PVFL Premier matches, Sia Raga beat new comers Melstone FC 5-0, Golden Star beat Amical 2-1 and Yatel FC beat Seveners United 3-2.
The 2004 PVFL Championship is sponsored by Victoria Bitter through its local agent, Au Bon Marche.
Results from Port Vila Futsal League Opening Knock Out Finals
Saturday 27 March 2004
Third Place: Real Sea Side – 4 vs Sara United – 1
Grand Final: Tuskers – 1 vs Westam United – 0
1st Division Final: Tupuji Magic – 3 vs Tasiriki – 1
Premier Division Final: Tupuji Magic – 4 vs Westam United (Golden Goal – 3-3 full time)