The opening match between the two teams was a close and physical battle, with both sides leaving everything on the pitch for the full 90 minute play.
It was Puaikura who showed dominance in the first half and scored two back-to-back goals from Kris Carpenter and the vigorous Maro Bonsu-Maro in the 29th and 30th minutes of the match to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
But physicality almost cost Puaikura the game in the second half when Anthony Hobbs received his second yellow card and his marching orders in the 61st minute along with Lupe’s Lapalapa Toni, leaving their sides with just 10 players each for the remaining minutes of the match.
Soon the tables turned to make an interesting final 15 minutes, as Lupe reduced the deficit when Puaikura’s Keegan Inia mistakenly knocked the ball back into the net to take the score up to 2-1.
With an additional time of four minutes, Puaikura pulled out all the stops to prevent their opponent from further scoring and managed to hang on to their one-goal lead and seal the win.
The Rarotongan champions have edged themselves closer to a place in the next stage of the League tournament, with one final game to play against Utulei Youth (ASA) on Thursday at 1pm (local time).
Live scoring have been made available to follow the match via the OFC website www.oceaniafootball.com and the OFC Twitter Page.
- CIFA Media
Puaikura FC: 1. Keegan Inia (GK), 3. Anthony Samuela (C), 4. Pekay Edwards, 5. Anthony Hobbs, 7. Samuel Maoate-Cox, 10. Grover Harmon, 13. Tyrell Barringer-Tahiri, 14. Maro Bonsu-Maro, 15. Kris Carpenter, 16. Renta Yamamoto, 18. Paul Rhodes.
Substitutes: 2. Jarves Aperau, 6. Kimiora Samuela, 8. Paul Poila, 11. Temata Karika, 12. Conroy Tiputoa, 17. Dwayne Tiputoa.