RAROTONGA – Tupapa’s surge towards the CIFA Round Cup championship title continued unabated despite a brave effort by
Matavera to halt the juggernaut.
Tupapa’s 2-0 victory over Matavera made it eight matches unbeaten this season for the league leaders with second placed Nikao Sokattak now 8 points adrift and looking
increasingly unlikely to close the gap.
Nikao’s title aspirations were damaged following a 2-1 upset defeat against Avatiu at the weekend. Avatiu’s victory was made more special after they trailed their more experienced opponents thanks to a goal by Steve Cuthers midway through the first half that looked to have set Nikao Sokattak
on their way to the expected victory.
The underdogs refused to panic and instead persevered with their all-out attacking style and pace that left Nikao desperately hanging onto their lead by the slenderest of
That margin was erased a minute before the half-time whistle when Avatiu equalised thanks to a candidate for goal of the season from Teiva Tauira that sent the vocal Avatiu
support into ecstasy.
Upon the restart of the match Nikao tried to contain the youthful Avatiu attack but their efforts were to no avail when Terry Piri evaded the Nikao defence to apply a crucial
finish that sealed the points for Avatiu and left Nikao Sokattak’s pursuit of Tupapa in the CIFA Round Cup race in tatters.
Nikao Sokattak will be anxiously looking over their shoulder with Avatiu cutting the gap between the two clubs to just two points. Takuvaine missed an opportunity to slide into
second place after they could only manage a 1-1 draw with bottom-placed Titikaveka.
In the women’s competition Tupapa continue to dominate crushing Matavera 15-0 at the weekend to increase their lead at the top of the table
by four points fron second-placed Arorangi.
Arorangi did not play in the latest round of matches and have a game in hand on the league leaders.
Elsewhere, Titkaveka and Takuvaine fought out a dramatic nine-goal thriller with Titikaveka prevailing 5-4 in what is developing into a fascinating battle for third
Nikao Sokattak kept the pressure on Titikaveka and Takuvaine after beating Avatiu 2-0, a result that keeps the teams in third, fourth, fifth and sixth place tightly packed
Avatiu trail in seventh place by four points with lowly Matavera bottom of the table with eight straight losses in eight matches.
Cook Islands Football Association (CIFA) Round Cup Standings –
CIFA Round Cup Results: Nikao Sokattak 1, Avatiu 2; Tupapa 2, Matavera 0; Titikaveka 1, Takuvaine 1.
Next fixtures (November 2nd/3rd): Titikaveka vs. Nikao Sokattak; Takuvaine vs. Arorangi; Avatiu vs. Tupapa.