After a very bad start in 2019-20 Papua New Guinea National Soccer League, Star Mountain finally found the right path in the tournament as the team coached by Selan Elizah has won two matches since the league’s resumption last month.
Star Mountain’s last match was a 1-0 win over Tusbab Stallions with a goal scored by William Yumb. This important victory helped them to reach the sixth position in the table with fifteen points. Star Mountain is the third team with most points since returning from the league after the COVID-19 pandemic, behind Lae City and Vitiaz United.
It is clear that the team improved a lot in the second half of the season and head coach Selan Elizah agrees with that: “The players’ mentality have changed. Their approach and attitude towards both training and playing helped the team. Also the inclusion of new players during the transfer window helped the team as well. We struggled in the first round, but I thought that they needed that to change their minds for the second round,” he said.
Currently four points behind fourth placed team Gulf Komara, it is obvious that Star Mountain can fight for a spot in the top four to play National Soccer League’s semi-finals. Despite the past results, Elizah keeps his feet on the ground: “I do not want to put the players under pressure. When we entered the league, I made a statement that it will take two to three years for the team to achieve its goal by being more competitive. This is our second year and I do not expect results yet, but if the opportunity arises it will be a bonus for the team,” he stated – “Some other teams are also fighting for this spot […] My players are focused on each game and I trust they will complete the job. We are motivated by the results achieved in our last games and this is driving the team through the last four remaining games,” he added.
The team’s last four matches in the PNG National Soccer League regular season will be against Morobe United, Kutubu, Lae City and Gulf Komara respectively. The upcoming clash is against Morobe United and winning this match is very important: “Morobe United lost two games in row but we cannot underestimate them. We will stick to our game plan by being more disciplined […] The preparation this week was good despite having some injured players. We are hoping for a good game against them and a win will be good,” revealed Elizah.
Star Mountain and Morobe United will clash at Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium in Lae. The match is scheduled to kick-off at 11am (local time) on Saturday. You can check National Soccer League’s standings, results and top scorers by clicking here.