Thursday 10 May 2012 | Published in Regional
Tupapa-Maraerenga premier men’s soccer team went down by three goals to one against New Caledonia’s Mont-Dore as they saw their hopes dashed in the 2013 O-League Preliminary Play-off at Loto-Tonga Centre in ‘Atele, Tonga, on Monday afternoon.
Mont-Dore went into the match as hot favorites to qualify for the Pacific’s premier club competition but were made to work hard for that honour in the face of a determined showing from Tupapa, who were spurred on by the chance to create a piece of history.
The Tupapa side could even have taken a shock lead in the 11th minute when Campbell Best got his head to a Rhys Ruka cross but his effort shaved the crossbar. Mont-Dore saw their player break clear down the left to score their first goal in the 33rd minute.
A second goal to Mont-Dore saw them lead by two goals to nil on the stroke of half-time.
In the second spell of the match the New Caledonian side went on to score their third and final goal.
With time running out Tupapa-Maraerenga managed to get on the score board through Grover Harmon heading home at the back post in injury time to help his team sign off on a high.
Tupapa-Maraerenga had more to celebrate in the individual stakes with striker Leo Berlim’s six goals earning him the Golden Boot and defender and Captain Mii Joseph receiving the Golden Ball as player of the tournament.