2013 FFAS National League kicks off
The men and women’s 2013 FFAS National League kicked off successfully on Aug. 24 after a three-week delay.
The delay was due to bad weather on successive weekends before the games finally went through last Saturday with the three divisions — Men’s 1st Division, Men’s 2nd Division and Women’s Division — cup holders retaining their respective hardware.
Three-time defending champs Pago Youth A trudged off with the Division 1 Cup after a 1-1 draw against Taputimu Youth; Atu’u Broncos held on to their cup for dear life with a comeback draw against Ilaoa & To’omata in Division 2 while the ladies of Black Roses beat off two challengers – Ilaoa & To’omata and PanSa.
“It is great that our league kicked off and good luck to all the teams competing,” said FFAS President Faiivae Alex Godinet.
“The games were very competitive especially on the men’s side with many teams coming out with new faces on their squads,” explained FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua.
The two new teams promoted to Division 1 — FC SKBC and Taputimu Youth — held their own against current tier 1 squads such as Utulei Youth and Pago Youth A.
Results for Saturday for Division 1 were: Pago Youth A 1, Taputimu Youth 1; FC SKBC 3, Utulei Youth 0; Black Roses 1, Tafuna Jets 1 and Lion Heart 3, Pago Youth B 0.
PAGO YOUTH A 1, TAPUTIMU YOUTH 1, CUP CHALLENGE
Pago Youth A dominated possession and territorial attacks and only managed to walk away with one goal in the first half, a 25th minute strike by Alatina Vaiali’i that Taputimu Youth’s goalie let slip through his fingers.
In the 49th minute, Pepa Meredith blasted a shot from inside the penalty area that ricocheted off of a Pago opponent and into the back of the net for the equalizer.
Pago Youth A will take on the Tafuna Jets as this week’s Division 1 Cup challenger.
FC SKBC 3, UTULEI YOUTH 0
FC SKBC dominated this contest but only managed a goal in the first half, a 16th minute score by Raynel Krishna.
In the second half Thamer Alshghri and Gun Chul Kang scored in the 41st and 50th minutes, respectively, to announce their successful transition from Division 2 to the top tier competition.
BLACK ROSES 1, TAFUNA JETS 1
The Jets scored first with a goal from Mathew Pese in the 22nd minute but Black Roses’ Sam Ulu equalized in the 61st minute.
LION HEART 3, PAGO YOUTH B 0
Lion Heart’s Hiva Tulau completed a hat trick against Pago Youth with his goals coming in the 27th, 40th and the 59th minutes of the match.
There are only six teams competing in the division after Lion Heart decided to combine their two teams from last year into one and Kiwi Soccers, relegated from Division 1 last year to the 2nd Division, no longer having a men’s team.
In games played on Saturday it was Atu’u Broncos 2, Ilaoa & To’omata 2 for the cup; PanSa 2, Vaiala Tongan 2 and Green Bay 5, Vaitogi United 1.
ATU’U BRONCOS 2, ILAOA & TO’OMATA 2, CUP CHALLENGE
Atu’u, last year’s Division 2 holders, found themselves in a hole after the first half ended with challenger, Ilaoa & To’omata, leading 2-0 thanks to goals by Shane Ah-hing in the 13th minute and Mikey Unasa in the 22nd.
They dug a deeper hole themselves in the second half with two red cards, the first one coming right after Livi Afano scored for Atu’u in the 51st minute. Two minutes later Rafael ‘Fish” Rocha was red carded.
With eight minutes to play, Malala Iose was red carded, leaving the Broncos with only nine players on the field but it did not deter them as Afano scored the equalizer several minutes later.
In the end Atu’u held on with a 2-2 draw to retain the cup for one more week.
Vaitogi United will challenge Atu’u for the Division 2 Cup this Saturday.
The women’s division has changed this year with a 9-a-side format at 15 minutes per half with two rounds per game day.
Black Roses, defending champions and holders of the cup from last year, successfully defended it twice — beating Ilaoa & To’omata 3-0 in Round 1 and PanSa 6-0 in Round 2.
In the first match Lornalisa Sagapolutele, Angela Sao and Meleane Ioapo all scored to secure the win while in the second match Filiga Ioapo was the star with a hat trick while younger sister Meleane added two to her name.
In Round 1 results it was Black Roses 3, Ilaoa & To’omata 0 for the cup; Utulei Youth 3, Atu’u Broncos 0; Tafuna Jets 4, Green Bay 2; PanSa 5, Lion Heart 0 and Kiwi Soccers 11, Pago Youth 0.
In Round 2 it was Black Roses 6, PanSa 0 for the cup; Utulei Youth 1, Tafuna Jets 0; Ilaoa & To’omata 4, Atu’u Broncos 0, Kiwi Soccers 9, Lion Heart 0 and Green Bay 3, Pago Youth 0 by forfeit.
Atu’u Broncos will challenge Black Roses for the cup in Round 3 on August 31 and should Atu’u win, the Tafuna Jets will challenge for it in Round 4. If Black Roses retains the cup Kiwi Soccers will be the Round 4 challenger.
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