Vanuatu was a special case during the COVID-19 pandemic – the country was hit by Harold, a tropical cyclone, during the lockdown forced by COVID-19. Football and all other activities were stopped due the pandemic, but also suffered a major blow from the natural disaster.
Luganville’s football venues were heavily affected – the second most important city of Vanuatu was hit very hard by TC Harold, the city that most suffered with the cyclone. After so many issues, football community can celebrate the return of the beautiful game to Luganville. The local powerhouse Malampa Revivors is preparing for the knock-out stage of 2020 OFC Champions League; in a friendly match they played the traditional Vaum last Saturday (27th Jun).
The first goal of the match was an own goal scored by Malampa Revivors’ captain Claude Aru. Andre Batick equalized in the 21st minute but Vaum United took the lead again before the half-time with goals scored by Ken Gideon and John Damelip. Andre Batick scored another goal in the first half but Vaum United took the 3-2 lead to the second half.
Vaum’s lead was blown in the first minute of the second half when Edwin Bai found the net for Malampa Revivors. The last goal of the match was scored by Jean-Claude Batick in the 80th minute to give the 4-3 lead to Malampa. You can check the match sheet by clicking here.
The first match after COVID-19 and TC Harold had lots of goals for the joy of the fans; Malampa Revivors emerged victorious with a 4-3 win over Vaum. Competitive football is expected to return to action this July – friendly matches were also played in Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila while the local league does not restart.