BY ROMULUS HUTA
A superb performance by KOSSA in yesterday afternoon’s round of the Telekom S-League caused a 3-1 upset over defending champions Solomon Warriors at Lawson Tama Stadium.
KOSSA’s victory redresses the loss succumbed to Warriors in the first round which also ended by the same margin.
KOSSA now move to 18 points on the table on third place behind Henderson Eels (23 points) and Warriors (22 points).
After an even display by both teams for most past of the first half, KOSSA striker Harrison Mala used his pace to beat Warriors goalkeeper Philip Mango, who had already advanced past his mark in a 50-50 through pass. Mala made a small tap on the ball past Mango before slotting it into an empty net for the first goal in the 43rd minute.
A minute before halftime recess, Moffat Deramoa capitalised on a defensive blunder by Warriors player Fred Fakarii to beat Mango in similar fashion for the second goal.
The halftime team talk appeared effective for Warriors as they mounted pressure against KOSSA and created hosts of chances.
In the 63rd minute, it paid off when Kensi Tangis pulled one back for Warriors after reaching out to a perfect pass steered from Alwin Hou on the left.
The goal enlivened Warriors fighting spirit and they could have scored twice through Tangis and Hou. However, KOSSA goalkeeper Tony Talo had to be on his best to keep out Warriors from getting anymore ball past his goal line.
KOSSA was forced to regroup in numbers back into their own territory fending off continuous threat posed by Warriors.
When everyone thought an equaliser was going to come for Warriors, KOSSA captain Paul Wale surprisingly turned on with a perfect strike which had the margin extended to 3-1, leaving Warriors to face an uphill situation over the next 16 minutes remaining on the clock before the end of regulation time.
KOSSA held on to the lead until fulltime.
Coach Vivian Wickham was impressed with the courageous effort shown by his boys.
“We lost by the same margin in the first round and the boys responded well today.
“The players listened to instructions and played with passion which is what any coach wants.
“Full credit to the boys as they deserve the win today,” Wickham expressed.
“It wasn’t Warriors day today but they are a strong team, their position on the table being first is the testament to the quality of coaching and players they have.
“They will respond I’m sure.
“But we will work on areas we need to work on and there is a lot.”
Meanwhile, in the other matches played over the weekend, Henderson Eels slipped in with a 2-1 win over FC Guadalcanal on Saturday while Malaita Kingz edged Real Kakamora with the same margin.
In the final match yesterday, Marist FC young guns put on a matured performance as they came back from a two-goal deficit to beat Western United 3-2.
Coleman Makau scored in the first half to put united in front leading by a goal to nil.
The second half started and National U-17 forward Steward Qwanafia scored his debut goal for United to make it 2-0.
Under-20 striker Patrick Taroga pulled one back in the 58th minute before fellow national striking team mate Ali Mekawir levelled things up in the 76th minute for Marist.
Taroga got the winner to complete his brace via a spot kick in the 82nd minute to hand Marist maximum points.