Competition leaders held

Mataks bags first win.

By Taromane Martin

Guntimac players set up defense as Kooline’s Geroge Stevenson hangs infront their goal mouth

SIPA National futsal league table leaders Kooline FC were held to a disappointing 3-3 draw by Guntimac FC at the Multipurpose Hall yesterday.

A win for Kooline yesterday would have seen them sitting comfortably in pole position with 12 points but were forced to share the spoils by a determined Guntimac side.

Team Captain Ellis Mana gave Mataks the lead in the first half after combing well with his little brother Benjamin Mana for their opening goal.

Kooline responded through experienced Alvin Hou who picked up a yellow card a minute earlier for a tough challenge on Benjamin Mana, to level the scores 1-1 before the break.

Ellis Mana regained the lead for Guntimac in the second half but saw Hou again beating their defence to draw the match level for the table leaders once more.

George Stevenson stole the lead for Kooline five minutes from time after Guntimac opted to defend deep in their arc.

Ellis Mani made sure Guntimac shared the spoils finding the equaliser for his side with a minute from time.

“We are pleased with the result. Most of our boys do not have enough experience compared to Kooline who has the likes of George Stevenson, Coleman Makau, Alvin Hou and Atana Fa’arodo,” Guntimac Team Captain Ellis Mana said.

“Unfortunately we decided to defend deep while leading 2-1 and allowed them to level before stealing the lead.

“We look forward for our next matches,” he said.

Kooline Team Captain Coleman Makau although disappointed with the draw says they will need to move on and get ready for their next match.

“First of all thank you to Guntimac for giving us a good fight. Even though we have the experience in the squad they proved they are up to the task,” he said.

“It’s good to see this happening because most people expect teams who have national players in them to always win.

“But the young boys now are proving everyone wrong as Guntimac has shown today which is a good sign is for futsal’s’ future in the country.

“I always tell my boys to collect all three points in our matches. The draw today was disappointing but that is that and we have to move on and get ready for our next game,” Makau adds.

Despite yesterday’s disappointing draw, Kooline are still top of the competition table with 10 points after four matches played while Guntimac are with seven points.

Meanwhile, Mataks FC also picked up their first win in the competition after defeating Vania FC 8-2 yesterday.

Team Official Joel Iro was pleased with the win saying it is a good sign for his side because it shows their formation is starting to gel.

“Our previous two games we were not settled because our players were scattered therefore did not have enough time to work on our formation and game plans.

“After those two games we went back and worked on it in preparation for this match and claiming our first three points is a good sign.

“We’ll need to work on our defensive side and most importantly our fitness. There is still enough to work on these areas,” Iro adds.

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