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Nikao and Tupapa lift Knockout Cups

The match lived up to the hype with plenty of thrills from the start until the final whistle.
In the first half Nikao had the wind behind their backs and edged out Tupapa in terms of ball possession but early in the game it was Tupapa who had two clear goal scoring opportunities.
However, they found themselves lacking the final touch to convert the chances into goals.
In the 26th minute Nikao’s Teariki Mateariki was handed the ball by an opposition defender and after slipping past another Tupapa defender he hit home to open the scoring.
Nikao winger Kunda Tom was causing havoc down the left and went past his marker on several occasions but the score remained 1-0 at halftime.
In the second half Nikao began where they left off but again failed to provide the finishing touch.
With 25 minutes remaining and the strong wind at their backs, Tupapa took control of the game, dominating possession to create several goal scoring opportunities of their own.
They finally had the reward their efforts deserved when Rhys Ruka curled the ball home with the outside of his boot.
Tupapa battled hard to score a winner but could not find the back of the net and the match came to an end with the scoreline locked at 1-1.
To decide the victors a penalty shootout was used with Nikao coming out on top, scoring three of their five attempts to Tupapa’s two.
It was a similar story in the senior women’s division as Titikaveka and Tupapapa also fought out a 1-1 draw in the final.
Once again a penalty shootout was required to decide the winner with Tupapa scoring four from five attempts and Titikaveka managing just three.
The U-17 men’s final between Nikao and Tupapa was an even contest with the scoreline sitting at 1-0 throughout most of the match. But Nikao sealed the victory one minute before fulltime to make the score 2-0 in their favour.
In the U-14 girl’s division, Round Cup champions Tupapa comfortably defeated Arorangi 3-0 while Nikao showed why they were also crowned Round Cup champions in the U-14 boy’s division after likewise beating Arorangi 3-0.
For more on Cook Islands football go to www.cookislandsfootball.com

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