(Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek)
It took Labasa Women FC just eight minutes to make an early statement in the inaugural OFC Women’s Champions League tournament in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
Striker Sofi Diyalowai scored a quite brilliant individual goal, turning her marker and sprinting 40 metres before sliding the ball past a despairing Kiwi FC goalkeeper Repeka Asofa Salele.
Diyalowai will go down in history as the first ever goal scorer in the OFC Women’s Champions League and her early strike was just the start of things to come from the Fijian champions.
Midfielder Aliza Hussein grazed the outside of the post in the 18th minute with a curling shot before Stella Naivalulevu doubled the lead with a well-placed header to the left of Asofa Salele in the 24th minute.
Shayal Sindhika forced Asofa Salele into a classy save diving to her right in the 38th minute to keep the Samoan side in the match.
Just before the break Diyalowai should have had her hat-trick; first when put through one on one with the keeper she scuffed her shot wide of the left hand upright and a minute later with an open goal side footed the ball to the left of the post.
Naivalulevu made no mistake on the stroke of halftime scoring her second with a powerful strike from outside the box that Asofa Salele couldn’t prevent from crossing the line.
For Kiwi FC Sa Faavaoa Esau was industrious up front with limited opportunities while Autaele Tafafa Taavao had plenty of possession and created some half chances, but the final pass too often let the Samoan side down.
Labasa had several chances to extend their lead in the second spell but the Kiwi FC defence largely held firm until the 82nd minute when Unaisi Tuberi burst through from defence and calmly slotted the ball past Asofa Salele with the outside of her foot.
More was to follow in the dying moments, as first Adi Vulitikoro rolled the ball into the corner when one-on-one to make it five, before Tuberi added a sixth from the penalty spot to finish matters.
Labasa Women FC: 6 (Sofi DIYALOWAI 8’, Stella NAIVALULEVU 25’ 45+3’, Adi Vulitikoro 90′, Unaisi TUBERI 82’, 90+2′)
Kiwi FC: 0