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Veitongo defends title

Veitongo FC have shown their international experience and retained their place at the top of the Tonga Major League after dominating Marist 8-2.

Veitongo coach Timote Moleni went into the game with his strongest side, including Fineasi Palei, Samisoni Mafi, Lafaele Moala and other Tonga internationals who have developed as a team through multiple international matches including the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifiers Stage One and the OFC Nations Cup 2016 Preliminary both held in 2015.

”I pulled all my experienced players to this match to be able to give a good game to Marist,” he said.

”The Marist boys are young and fast and they can be dangerous on the field,” he added.

This is not the first time these two contenders have met in the final, and Marist coach Christian Koaneti knew before kick-off that Veitongo would be no easier this time around.

“My players are ready to fight and whatever the result, we are happy to have made it this far,” he said.

Marist dominated the first 10 minutes of the match, but the defending champions counter-attacked and put the Marist backline under pressure early with several attempts from Tonga international Hemaloto Polovili.

Another Tonga international was the first to finish, Kilifi Uele scoring Veitongo’s only goal of the first half. Marist equalised after a penalty was given and Soakai Vea placed the ball in the back of the net.

The second half saw a lot more action, with three goals from Veitongo’s Hemaloto Polovili, and one each from Mark Uhatahi, Kamaliele Papani, Timote Polovili, and Tupou Uhatahi. Marist held the ball long enough to give Unaloto Feao a chance at goal, finishing an attempt in the 75th minute to end the final at 8-2.

For more on Tonga football go to www.tongafootball.to

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