Suva claim FACT crown

Suva goalkeeper Beniamino Mateinaqara flying through the air. Photo Credit: Fiji FA Media

Reigning national league champions Suva completed a domestic double after securing the Vodafone Fiji Football Association Cup Tournament (FACT) with a 1-0 win over Nadi in the final at Labasa’s Subrail Park on Sunday.

Nadi dominated the early exchanges forcing a number of saves from Beniamino Mateinaqara before Suva took charge of proceedings with Christopher Wasasala and Sairusi Nalaubu leading the charge upfront.

The decisive moment came in the 49th minute following a defensive blunder as Afraz Ali headed the ball into his own net from a Shahil Dave cross leaving the Nadi goalkeeper no chance.

There were more reasons to celebrate for Suva as they cleaned up the awards with Mateinaqara winning the Golden Glove, Nalaubu the Golden Boot for his five goal tournament tally, while the Player of the Tournament Award was given to Dave.

The Capital City Boys were also awarded FJD$17,000 for their efforts. It was the club’s third FACT title and their first since 2012.

Meanwhile, Suva’s futsal side also reigned supreme after retaining their Inter-District Championship (IDC) by defeating Lami 3-1 in a repeat of the 2019 title decider at the capital city’s FMF Gymnasium.

The Golden Glove was awarded to Suva’s Shameet Kumar while his teammate Vineet Nadan picked up the Golden Ball. Prashant Chand of Tailevu Naitasiri was the Golden Boot winner.

Suva celebrate their IDC futsal title. Photo Credit: Fiji FA Media

Staying with futsal, ASPTT defeated AS Universite 5-4 in a thrilling final in Noumea to claim their second Caledonia Futsal Cup on Saturday.

The match was played at a frantic pace in front of a big and vocal crowd and went down to the wire but ASPTT did enough to reclaim the title they last won in 2017.

Also in New Caledonia, Mobil Super Ligue minor premiers Tiga Sport defeated Horizon Patho 2-0, while defending champions Hienghène Sport played out a 2-2 draw with AS Magenta in the second round of the competition’s playoffs.

The results mean Tiga are on top with a win and a draw following their 2-2 stalemate with Hienghène Sport last week, while the other three teams are still searching for their first win after being forced to settle for draws in their previous two encounters.

In the third and final matchday this weekend Tiga will face Magenta while Hienghène Sport host Horizon Patho.

In New Zealand, the ISPS Handa Women’s Premiership is on the home stretch as the competition searches for its two finalists.

Defending champions Canterbury United Pride beat Capital Football 4-0 on Saturday, while Southern United edged WaiBOP 2-1 and the Northern Lights topped Central 4-0 on Sunday. Auckland Football Federation had the bye.

The final round will be played this weekend with Auckland sitting atop the standings on 12 points, only ahead of Canterbury on goal difference.

The Northern Lights are third on 10 points, alongside Capital but Capital have a bye in the final round and cannot make the final.

Canterbury will host Northern in the final round this week at 1pm on Sunday NZT and Canterbury only need a draw to advance to the final while the Northern Lights must win to earn a spot in the decider.

Auckland will travel to meet WaiBOP at 2pm and would guarantee their place in the final with at least a draw but they may not need to worry about their result depending on what happens between Canterbury and the Northern Lights.

In the ISPS Handa Men’s Premiership, the Hamilton Wanderers stayed at the top of the table after four rounds, despite being held to a 1-1 draw by the Wellington Phoenix Reserves in Hamilton on Sunday.

The match marked the first time the Wanderers had dropped points this season, while Team Wellington held firm in second place after playing out a 2-2 draw on home turf with Auckland City FC.

Canterbury United got their first win of the campaign with a 3-0 victory over Hawke’s Bay United who remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

Third-placed Eastern Suburbs AFC and cross-town rivals Waitakere United fought to a 2-2 draw at Madills Farm.

The Papua New Guinea Women’s National Soccer League began on Saturday and produced some interesting results.

In the Southern Conference, Port Moresby City beat NCD FC 3-0, while FC Genesis topped Port Moresby City by the same margin. NCD Hekari United hammered Amoana 13-1 on the back of eight goals from international Marie Kaipu.

“The first game is always the toughest because you’ll never know how the other teams play but the girls played well and I’m happy for the win,” Hekari coach Erickson Komeng said.

In the Northern Conference, Tusbab Laidamon FC and Bara drew 2-2, Poro beat Rainy Lae FC 5-1, Morobe Tulip squeezed past Pacific Gardens FC 2-1, and Sepik FC was held to a 2-2 draw by Markham Raings.

Meanwhile, Football Federation Samoa (FFS) handed out shopping vouchers and food parcels to football clubs for players and officials recently via the OFC Solidarity Fund.

The fund was developed by Oceania Football Confederation in order to support staff, volunteers, players, coaches, referees and the wider football community across Oceania affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and Tropical Cyclone Harold.

The grant, which is part of the OFC FIFA Forward funding, has been designed to cover four key areas, including food and hygiene packets, loss of income, medical allowances and self-isolation costs.

Shopping vouchers were distributed to football clubs in Samoa. Photo Credit: FFS Media

FFS Social Responsibility Officer Maupenei Asafo said the recipients were grateful for the assistance.

“Each club was given forms to complete for members who lost their jobs that affected the livelihood of their families, especially in terms of their food source and income as many footballers depend on their income and allowance from football. It will take time to fully recover but the assistance from OFC through the OFC Solidarity Fund is highly appreciated.”

Ends

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