Organised by the Cook Islands Football Association (CIFA), players and supporters flocked to the Matavera football grounds to watch the first two matches of the new men’s and women’s seasons as home team Matavera and visitors Nikao competed.
First on the Matavera pitch were talented up-an-coming U-13 and U-16 age grade players who showcased their skills in front of CIFA’s Technical Director Maurice Tillotson and National Development Officer Jimmy Katoa.
These youngsters were then followed by their senior male counterparts with the visiting Nikao team securing a 2-0 win over Matavera. The visiting side took an early lead before proceeding to squander a host of goal scoring opportunities. The second half pattern followed the first half with Nikao again scoring early but failing to add further goals despite plenty of opportunities.
Also in action in the men’s senior open division, Avatiu came away with a convincing 4-0 win over Arorangi. The home side took the lead early in the game when Marcelo Rairoa latched on to a through ball and slotted it past the Arorangi keeper.
Avatiu continued to dominate the play and added a second goal from a corner. Conversely Arorangi thought they had pulled one goal back only to have the goal disallowed after an offside decision. In the second spell Avatiu continued their domination of the match, adding a further two goals.
Rounding out theweekend’s play, Takuvaine beat their hosts Titikaveka 2-1 and in the women’s division Aorangi defeated Avatiu 1-0 in a closely contested game at Raemaru Park.
The start of the new football season was delayed, due to the biennial Pacific Mini Games being hosted in the Cook Islands for three weeks from September to October.
Over 1000 athletes flew to Rarotonga to participate in the Mini Games. CIFA played a part in the games by offering the FIFA Goal sponsored football academy to host Mini Games officials.
The second round of senior men’s and women’s competition gets underway this Saturday.
Courtesy of CIFA Media