Eels lose three points.
By Taromane Martin
RACE for second spot in the Telekom Soccer League (TSL) is left wide open after second spot contenders Henderson Eels FC suffered a 4-3 loss to Malaita Kingz FC yesterday.
Both teams were reduced to 10 men after match referee Geroge Time flashed the red card to Henderson Eels FC midfielder, Alick Mamae in the first half and then to Malaita Kingz FC PNG import Michael Foster in the second half.
Henderson Eels FC Head Coach Christopher Asipara admitted their hopes of qualifying for the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Champions League next year is narrow and will depend on the results from other teams matches this weekend.
“We played good football today. However I’m disappointed with some of the decisions made by the match officials today,” Coach Asipara told Sun SPORTS yesterday.
“Those decision gave us a lost of disadvantages in our game today. But that is football and we have to accept, move on and work from here.
“Despite losing 4-3 today, chances of finishing in second place are still there for us depending on the other teams matches.
“As for us, we’ll come back and make sure we finish in the top two position at the end of this season,” he said.
Coach Asipara said they will take their remaining matches one at a time as they look to secure a spot for next year’s OFC Champions League.
“We will try and see if we can come up with a good result against KOSSA FC who is also a quality side on Saturday.
“At the moment we cannot predict the outcome of our upcoming matches but we will prepare ourselves for our remaining matches, he said.
Asipara said the red card to Alick Mamae yesterday really affected them, admitting it will now be a stiff climb for them.
“We are not down hearted with the loss today. It will be a stiff climb for us but we look forward for our remaining matches,” Asipara said.
He said the standard of the TSL is improving compared to previous year’s and calls on the SIFF referees association to improve their handling of big matches
“I think the TSL games are getting faster. Tactically the standard is improving however only needs referees to pull up their socks and improve on their decision-making,” he said
Meanwhile TSL second round matches will continue this weekend at the Lawson Tama Stadium.
TSL matches for this weekend will see Malaita Kingz FC taking on FC Guadalcanal at 2pm this Saturday followed by Solomon Warriors FC and Marist FC at 4pm.
TSL matches for Sunday sees KOSSA FC taking on Henderson Eels FC at 2pm followed by Western United FC and Real Kakamora FC at 4pm.