The Navutoka women’s team scored a late winner to claim their first TFA Women’s League title after downing Veitongo United 3-2.
Navutoka coach Lui Muavesi called the win an historic one for his club.
“It’s a history for my village, Navutoka, as in the past 20 years our women’s team were not even close to the top four, but today Navutoka has become the champion,” Muavesi said.
Both sides are littered with current and former national team players making it of no surprise that they finished up in the final.
Navutoka made an early play for dominance scoring two first half goals to give themselves a comfortable lead going into the break.
However the experienced Veitongo were by no means going to give up, bringing the pressure to their opponents in the second half.
A goal finally came after 15 minutes and another ten minutes later national team midfielder Seini Lutu found the net again to bring Veitongo level.
With the regulation 90 minutes up and just two minutes of additonal time to play out, Navutoka made their move.
Eseta Vi sent in an excellent corner which Emelita Moa was able to push clear, but it dropped only as far as the edge of the six yard box.
Navutoka striker Latavao was able to turn slightly and shoot, sending the ball into the back of the net for the winner.
Tonga Football Association Women’s Football Development Officer Meleoni Uera said praise had to go to FIFA for governing bodies assistance in helping to get the league off the ground.
“I will into this in the future with probably some changes and I am hoping we can also get more funds from FIFA to continue developing women’s football in Tonga,” she said.
This is the first season that the Women’s League has been played in two stages, with the second stage welcoming the top two sides from Vavaú to challenge the top two teams in Tongatapu.
Matatu Liavaá manages Vavaú Football and said coming to Tongatapu was an eye opener for the Vavau representatives as it highlighted the development gap between the two islands.
“The level of football in Vavaú is very poor and I would like to work on it upon our return,” Liavaá said.
“We do have a few coaches that have been trained and will work with them to do proper training with all our women’s football teams.
“On the other hand, I am so glad that we came and the Vavaúan girls witnessed the level of football in Tongatapu. The league has been an eye-opener for the two top teams representing Vavaú here.”
For more on Tongan football visit www.tongafootball.to