Hekari back in form, Kiwis share spoils

Champions Hekari United returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Koloale in Port Moresby on the second OFC O-League matchday.

After losing 2-1 to Vanuatu’s Amicale in their opener, it was a much-needed boost for the Papua New Guinea side ahead of next month’s FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2010 campaign.

They started in perfect fashion when Solomon Islands star Henry Fa'arodo, playing against his compatriots, struck in the 32nd minute before PNG favourite Kema Jack added a second just before half-time. In the second half Fa'arodo bagged his second and Abraham Iniga completed the scoring as the Solomon Islanders suffered a second loss on the trot.

However it is Fiji’s Lautoka that have an early stranglehold on the group after posting their second win with a 1-0 home triumph over competition newcomers Amicale. A lone goal midway through the opening stanza from forward Valerio Nawatu proved enough to guide the home side to another three points.

In Group B. the heavyweight clash between New Zealand duo Waitakere United and Auckland City ended in parity thanks to some late drama as City hit a last-gasp equaliser to earn a share of the spoils. Waitakere took the lead through Fijian striker Roy Krishna with just under ten minutes remaining, but City midfielder Alex Feneridis smashed a low volley past unsighted goalkeeper Danny Robinson with almost the last kick of the game.

In the other Group B fixture, New Caledonia’ AS Magenta claimed French Polynesian bragging rights as Jean Philippe Saiko's 65th-minute goal gave them a narrow victory over Tahitian counterparts Tefana, who remain at the bottom of the table without a point.

The final round of matches for the year will take place in three weeks, however Hekari’s match against undefeated Group A leaders Lautoka has been postponed until 15 January due to the PNG club’s involvement in the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup.