Australia Country was in the shock of their lives when it was the PNG side that registered first on the score board with a goal to Raymond Popal within the 1st minute of play.
“It motivated the boys a little bit in the first half,” said Thomas Kahai, PNG Men’s coach. “But we started to go down a little bit more in defence and Australia Country capitalized on that and utilized the game to their advantage.”
Numerous times Australia Country penetrated deep into PNG territory but squandered their equalising opportunities. It wasn’t until the 12th minute that Kyle Rush was able to settle the nerves by scoring the equaliser. As the game progressed, Australia Country regained their composure following Rush’s goal with 4 more to take the lead by storm, Dominic Wild (2), Jacob Andalaro and Joshua Gregory giving Australia country a 5-1 lead at half-time.
Beginning of second half saw the Aussies with most of the possession but it was Papua New Guinea again that opened the scoring in the 54th minute with a goal to Michael Potuan. This served as a another wakeup call for Australia Country with Nathan Doherty scoring a field goal 4 minutes later, to bring the scores to 6-2 to Australia Country.
During an awarded short corner in the 60th minute Jaitinda Singh, Australia Country Men’s coach, made a daring move, ordering all of his players behind the 23m line except two to play the inserted ball. This strategy paid off as Shaun Dawson was able to score from a penalty corner in the 64th minute.
Both teams will face Fiji Men in the finals, PNG in the World League qualifier tomorrow and Australia Country in the Oceania Pacific Cup gold medal playoff. Final score Australia Country 8 - Papua New Guinea 2.
“We got a score to settle with Fiji,” said Kahai. “We’re looking forward to the game tomorrow.” Sentiments the Australia Country camp would agree to.
Last Modified on 26/12/2012 10:34