Champions Amicale had already wrapped up the title but underlined their dominance with yet another win, this time an exciting 3-2 thriller over Tupuji Imere, while second-placed Tafea also finished on a high note, posting a 2-0 success over Spirit 08.
The season then received a fitting finale when popular Solomon Islands band DMP took to the stage at Amicale’s home ground to the joy of thousands of fans packed onto the field.
The football action was just as entertaining to watch as Fenedy Masauvakalo’s 70th-minute winner earned Amicale their eighth win of the campaign against a hard-working Tupuji Imere side at PVL Stadium.
Striker Jimmy Sope threatened to spoil Amicale’s party when he opened the scoring to give Tupuji a 1-0 halftime lead but the champions regrouped during the break and were back on level terms when Solomon Islands star Jack Wetney struck in the 50th minute.
Defender Nelson Sale then put the Rosters in front for the first time when he headed home a corner but Tupuji refused to lie down and got themselves back into the game with a goal from promising youngster Rodney Serveux.
But their hopes of causing an upset were dashed with 20 minutes to go when Amicale talisman Masauvakalo pounced to score his seventh goal of the season and ensure the Rosters’ campaign would end with another three points.
The Port Vila-based side can now look forward to taking part in the next O-League, a competition they performed admirably in last season to finish as runners-up, while Tupuji Imere end their season in third spot on the Super League table.
Tafea’s win over Spirit 08 may not have been as exciting but the victors were made to work just as hard for the 2-0 triumph.
Michel Kaltack hit home the former champions’ first goal in the 15th minute and it looked at that stage as if it could turn into a long day for fourth-placed Spirit. But the players were in a resolute mood and went on to control long periods of the game, without managing to breach the Tafea rearguard.
Joe Luwi finally found the net at the other end when he scored Tafea’s second of the afternoon with only three minutes remaining.
“We played well and had more chances than Tafea to score but all the hard work came to nothing,” disappointed Spirit striker Robert Tasso said.
Attention then turned to the activities set to take place at the Amicale field and the fans were not left disappointed as they were treated to an evening of fine music and merriment.
The aim of the concert was to raise funds towards installing new floodlights at the ground while some of the money will also go towards supporting the children’s wards in Port Vila and Luganville hospitals.
Vanuatu groups Naio and Saratokowia warmed up the enthusiastic fans before DMP, who had been lured to Vanuatu for the concert by Amicale management, took over and put on a show that got the majority of the crowd on their feet and dancing.
“We have a responsibility to give something back to our community and that’s why we invited DMP to come down to Port Vila,” Amicale president Jean Yves Chabod says. “I want to thank everyone who came along to support the concert.”
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