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Lae City claim minor premiership in PNG

Lae City FC celebrate their 2019-2020 Kumul Petroleum National Soccer League minor premiership. Photo Credit: PNGFA Media

Reigning Papua New Guinea champions Lae City FC have been crowned minor premiers after finishing on top of the 2019-2020 Kumul Petroleum National Soccer League competition ladder at the end of the 18-round regular season.

Following an indefinite postponement in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Papua New Guinea’s premier club competition resumed on August 8 with round 11.

Lae City have been unbeaten since the resumption of the competition and went into the final round against Vitiaz United FC knowing that a draw was enough for them to claim the minor premiership.

Meanwhile, sitting in third place, Vitiaz were determined to end a two-game losing streak and finish their regular season on a high.

In an evenly-contested encounter Lae City’s Icaza Gustine came the closest to finding the net with a first-half strike that hit the crossbar, before the sides were forced to settle for a scoreless stalemate.

The result meant Lae finished on 43 points, one point clear of Hekari United who finished their regular season campaign with a 3-0 win over Tusbab Stallions during the weekend.

In the other round 18 matches, FC Bougainville thumped FC Morobe Wawens 4-1, with Danny Vetali grabbing a brace and a goal each to Elton Banem and Eaka Philemon, while Morobe Wawens’ lone goal came from Moses Kamakeng.

Gulf Kumura FC thrashed Star Mountains FC 5-0 to secure fourth spot, 12 points behind Vitiaz.

At the bottom end of the table Kutubu FC finished with the wooden spoon following a 3-2 defeat to Morobe United FC.

The draw for the finals series, which will be played in Port Moresby, will be announced on Wednesday, September 30.

The grand final to determine the 2019-2020 Kumul Petroleum National Soccer League champions is set for October 10.

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