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Pacific football roundup

Tommy Semmy playing for Hamilton in New Zealand's national league. Photo Credit: Photosport

The Hamilton Wanderers are at the top of the ISPS Handa Men’s Premiership standings in New Zealand after the opening three rounds.

They beat Canterbury United 3-2 on Sunday as they kept their fine start to the season rolling along .

The match was Tommy Semmy’s 50th for the club and the Papua New Guinea international marked the occasion with a goal, while Derek Tieku and Jordan Lamb also found the back of the net.

Team Wellington, who won the OFC Champions League in 2018, remain the only other undefeated team in the competition after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Waitakere United on Saturday. The Wellingtonians won their opening two matches.

In other results from across the league during the weekend, Auckland City FC left it late but edged Hawke’s Bay United 2-1 and Eastern Suburbs AFC beat the Wellington Phoenix Reserves 4-0.

In the ISPS Handa Women’s Premiership, Auckland Football Federation made it four from five when they topped Southern United 3-0 on Sunday.

Auckland’s win ensured they remain in first place on the standings, ahead of Capital Football who edged Central 1-0, while WaiBOP got their first victory of the campaign when they beat the Northern Lights 2-1 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the semi-finals and final of the 2020 Vodafone Fiji Football Association Cup Tournament (FACT) had to be rescheduled for the coming weekend, due to poor ground conditions at Labasa’s Subrail Park.

Fiji Football Association (Fiji FA) President Rajesh Patel said following a consultation with the Labasa Town Council a decision was made to play the semis on Saturday, December 5 and the final the next day at Subrail Park.

The unplayable pitch at Labasa’s Subrail Park. Photo Credit: Fiji FA Media

He also confirmed that a decision regarding the resumption of the semi-final between Nadi and Rewa will be made in the coming days.

Nadi were leading 1-0 at halftime when the match was called off due to unplayable ground conditions.

The Rewa Soccer Association has written to the Fiji FA saying their abandoned match against Nadi should be replayed for the entire 90 minutes and not for the time that was remaining in the match.

According to FIFA laws, an abandoned match is replayed unless the competition rules or organisers determine otherwise.

Rewa’s President Nazeel Buksh said Fiji FACT regulations do not stipulate that only the remaining minutes of the game should be replayed and the regulations are silent on this matter.

He also added that abandoned games during previous national league and Fiji FA tournaments have all been replayed from the start for the full 90 minutes.

In New Caledonia, the finalists of the 2020 Caledonia Futsal Cup have been decided following the weekend’s semi-finals.

2019 OFC Futsal Champions League runners-up ASPTT defeated Olympique 9-5 while AS Universite beat AS Wetr 4-0 to book their place in Saturday’s title decider.

Sill in New Caledonia, the opening round of the 2020 Mobil Super Ligue playoffs have delivered two draws at Noumea’s Stade Numa-Daly.

After finishing the regular season in top spot, Tiga Sport and runners-up Hienghène Sport were forced to settle for a 2-2 stalemate.

In Saturday’s other encounter, the points were also shared between third-placed AS Magenta and fourth-placed Horizon Patho following a 1-1 draw.

The playoffs will continue on December 5, with the final round scheduled to take place a week later.

In Papua New Guinea, a launch was held late last week for the new national women’s league that will begin on December 5.

The 14-team Women’s National Soccer League is split into two Conferences with eight teams in the Northern and six in the Southern and will run until February 2021.

Papua New Guinea Football Association General Secretary Pius Letenge said the league was an exciting development, especially with the FIFA Women’s World Cup set to be co-hosted by New Zealand in 2023.

“There is huge interest in women’s football and it has grown massively over the years,” he said.

“We have seen young women and girls coming from settlements, communities, tribes, clans and provinces in PNG and excelling in the sport.

“We are also seeing mothers attend training and bring their children to games.

“It’s amazing to see young women and girls focus on improving themselves, not only in football but in life.”

Players from the new national women’s league in PNG at the season launch. Photo Credit: PNGFA Media

Lupe Ole Soaga SC have defended their Samoa National League title after beating Vaipuna 8-2 in Saturday’s final. Lupe’s women’s team completed a national double as they were awarded the crown in unique circumstances.

Their clash with Moata’a FC was delicately poised at 1-1 in the final minutes when Lupe were awarded a penalty. Moata’a didn’t agree with the decision and decided to leave the field and refused to return to complete the match.

Based on Football Federation Samoa’s regulations for abandoned matches, Lupe were handed the title via a 3-0 victory.

In the Solomon Islands, the men’s S-League is on hold until December 19 as the Solomon Cup takes place.

The national knockout tournament has not been played since 2017 and the Malaita Eagles are the defending champions.

The Cook Islands are also playing their national Knock-out Competition and the semi-finals for all grades from age-group through to senior men will take place from Wednesday this week.

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