Hekari claim historic crown

Papua New Guinea’s Hekari United have created history by winning the OFC O-League defeating New Zealand’s Waitakere United 4-2 on aggregate despite losing the second leg 2-1 in Auckland.

The Port Moresby club are the first team from outside Australia or New Zealand to be crowned Oceania champions and the title success ensures their passage to the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2010.

Holding a 3-0 advantage from the first leg a fortnight ago, Hekari were immediately on the back foot with Waitakere making the perfect start to the match as player-coach Neil Emblen headed the opening goal after just three minutes.

The home side missed a golden chance to pull a second goal back with Martin Bullock putting the ball wide after rounding the goalkeeper. Hekari then put the final almost out of reach on 35 minutes as Solomon Islander Alick Maemae pounced on a defensive error before being bundled over by goalkeeper Danny Robinson, with Kema Jack converting the resultant penalty.

On open encounter saw chances at either end with each team hitting the frame of the goal during the second half. Six minutes from full time Brent Fisher scored from the penalty spot to give Waitakere the win on the day but the history-making glory belonged to Hekari.