Champs stumble in O-League opener

Reigning OFC O-League champions Hekari United of Papua New Guinea suffered a stunning 2-1 home loss against competition new boys Amicale FC of Vanuatu on the opening day of the 2011/11 season.

The PNG side, bound for the December’s FIFA Club World Cup, were stunned when Vanuatu international Fenedy Masauvakalo opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. Solomon Islands signing Jack Wetney doubled Amicale's lead just after the break, while compatriot Henry Fa’arodo got one back for Hekari shortly afterwards.

In the other group match in Honiara, Australian striker Matthew Mayora put Fiji’s Lautoka ahead on 16 minutes in front of a typically large and boisterous crowd of over 10,000 at the Lawson Tama Stadium. He then completed a stunning debut with a brace inside the opening 25 minutes, with Ian Paia pulling a goal back before the interval to no avail.

Sunday’s matches saw normality restored though two-time champions Waitakere United were forced to come from behind after Axel Williams scored for Tahiti’s AS Tefana. However Fijian star Roy Krishna equalised in the shadows of half-time, and the Kiwis were a side transformed after the interval scoring further goals through Mike Gwyther and Sean Lovemore.

Cross-city rivals Auckland City had a far easier time of things scoring a 3-0 win against New Caledonia’s AS Magenta with Adam McGeorge, New Zealand South Africa 2010 squad member Dave Mulligan, and prolific striker Daniel Koprivcic all on the scoresheet.