Both teams took time finding their rhythm in the first half, with Puaikura pushing forward early from a few dangerous runs.
The side soon had an opportunity but was unable to convert as Tupapa Maraerenga goalkeeper Manaariki Pierre was quick off his line to snuff out the shot, keeping the game scoreless. Tupapa Maraerenga’s best chance of the match came in the 14th minute when midfielder Anthony Samuela lofted a pass through the midfield behind the Puaikura back line to find the speedy Geosah George – but his shot was met with a save from Roimata Moetaua.
After a half that saw promising glimpses, but not a lot of clear-cut changes, Tupapa Maraerenga took the lead right before the interval.
The side took advantage of a spot kick resulting from a clear handball foul in the box as Paavo Mustonen stepped forward and struck the ball into the bottom-right corner of the net to put them ahead of Puaikura 1-0. They maintained that lead until the end of the first half.
During the second half, Puaikura tried tirelessly for an equaliser but couldn’t find the much-needed goal. Tupapa Maraerenga displayed physicality and speed throughout the match as they consistently maintained control of the ball and locked down the Puaikura offense.
In the other premier men’s matches, Nikao Sokattak defeated Titikaveka 4-1 while Avatiu overcame Matavera 4-2.
In the senior women’s division, Tupapa Maraerenga thrashed Puaikura 9-0 and the same with Avatiu putting away Matavera 9-0, whilst Titikaveka and Nikao Sokattak battled to a 2-2 draw.
- CIFA Media
Puaikura v Tupapa Maraerenga: Premier Men 0-1; Senior Women 0-9; U14 Boys 3-2; U14 Girls 10-0. Matavera v Avatiu: Premier Men 2-4; Senior Women 0-9; U14 Boys 2-0; U14 Girls 3-0. Nikao Sokattak v Titikaveka: Premier Men 4-1; Senior Women 2-2; U14 Boys 0-3; U14 Girls 4-0.