Lautoka go top after Hekari stalemate

Fiji’s Lautoka have taken the lead in Group A of the 2011 OFC O-League after playing out a scoreless draw with Papua New Guinea’s Hekari United on Saturday at Churchill Park.

The home point for the Fijian champions means they now have two wins and one draw from their three matches and are the only Group A side yet to taste defeat. There was little for the bumper crowd in Lautoka to cheer in an eagerly anticipated encounter against the continental champions who recently participated in the FIFA Club World Cup representatives.

Lautoka were without several key players after Marika Madigi, Valerio Nawatu, Jone Vono Junior, Samuela Kautoka and Ilaitia Tuilau were all dropped for disciplinary reasons and began the match in indecisive fashion as Hekari seized the initiative. Lautoka had the best chance to break the deadlock in the 62nd minute when Sanni Issa went around the goalkeeper but with the net at his mercy he somehow placed his shot wide.

Lautoka are in O-League action again on 5 February when they welcome Solomon Islands side Koloale to Churchill Park while Hekari travel to Vanuatu to take on Amicale on the same day.