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National Soccer League returns in PNG

Three exciting Kumul Petroleum National Soccer League football matches are on the cards at the PNG Football Stadium in Port Moresby on Saturday 11 January as the competition returns from the festive break.

The match between the vastly improved Tusbab Stallions of Madang and FC Bougainville is expected to be a thriller.

Both teams have one win and a loss each, with Stallions having a better points differential.

The Rachael Wadunah-coached Stallions are looking forward to their second win of the season but it will not be easy against an equally determined Bougainville outfit.

Captain Nigel Malagian has been defending superbly for the Madang team since the start of the season.

He is supported by Solomon Mapai, Jasper Panu and Stahl Gubag with the two Wadunah brothers, Ricky and Jason controlling the midfield.

Striker Papalau Awele has hit his form recently and will prove dangerous against Bougainville if they can’t find a way to contain him.

For Bougainville, the David Passam-coached side need to come out strong in the first half if they are to put Stallions off their game.

Basil Jofari and Elton Banem have formed a lethal combination for the Bougainvillians. They are well supported by Jonathan Allen, Daniel Vetali, Moses Arisib, Abel Redenut, Tyran Vapara and Richard Mongi.

Hekari United should have it easy against the David Aua-led Gulf Komara, a side still struggling to find their feet in the NSL.

But before the two square off it’s the Asasumba boys, Morobe United, against the Star Mountains, two sides both in search of their first victory in the competition.

Star Mountain, who suffered a defensive break down in their last two rounds need to maintain their structure and tighten up their defense.

The Selan Elizah-coached side had many attempts on goals but lacked accuracy up front. This time, they will need their lethal weapon Patterson Elizah to be much sharper against Morobe.

For the visitors, Morobe United, under the guidance of PNG U-23 assistant coach Jack Jonathan, this away game is vital and a win will boost the confidence of the players ahead of next weekend’s game at home against defending champion Lae City FC.

In Lae, it’s a Morobe derby between Morobe Wawens and defending champions Lae City FC while in Goroka at the National Sports Institute, Kutubu FC will go head to head with Vitiaz United who are two from two in the competition so far.

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