The final stages of the PNG National Soccer League are coming: only three weeks and we will know the four qualified teams for the semi-final stage and premiers of the regular season. Vitiaz United, Lae City and Hekari United are the teams at the top of the table battling for the minor premiership, while Gulf Komara, Tusbab Stallions and Morobe Wawens are the most likely sides to contest for the final fourth spot in the decisive part of the season.
But another interesting contest is ahead in Papua New Guinea: who is going to be top goalscorer of the season? The question might continue unanswered until the final match of the season as various players are close to each other in the golden boot table. Since the start of the season, the then Tusbab Stallions forward Stahl Gubag was at the top of the list, but since he joined Lae City the prominent player just could notch one goal so far – ten in total of the season. This allowed the impressive Vitiaz United duo Jonathan Allen and Mathew David to get closer to him in the contest; now Allen has the same number of goals of Gubag while David is just one behing both of them. But, it is always good to remember: Raymond Gunemba is still there. The now Hekari United star has eight goals so far in the season and his quality can not be counted out of the contest for the golden boot.
Lae City of Stahl Gubag will be playing again at Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium against rivals Morobe Wawens this weekend. Hekari United will have an interesting clash against Gulf Komara while Allen and David’s Vitiaz United will be playing against FC Kutubu in Port Moresby.
Certainly, the goal for these star players is to get the glory at the end of the season to be crowned PNG National Soccer League champions, but it is obviously remarkable to be the top goalscorer of a competition – specially when you end up winning it.
While Raymond Gunemba just got off the mark a week ago against FC Kutubu scoring a brace, the former Lae City man Mathew David scored a total of seven goals in two matches putting him as a surprise contender for the golden boot award.
An interesting fact about the top four scorers of the season so far is that all of them changed clubs in the mid-season transfer window: Allen was a FC Boungainville player, David reinforced Vitiaz coming from Lae City, while Stahl scored nine of his ten goals as Tusbab Stallions player and Raymond Gunemba playing the biggest part of the league as Lae City forward before joining Port Moresby-side Hekari United.
Other well-known players are also in the contest for the prize; as Lae City’s Emmanuel Simon with seven goals so far in the season and the Hekari United duo Kolu Kepo and Nigel Dabinyaba with six each. The three players have plenty of quality to score a number of goals battle for the award, but they are currently very behind Gubag and Allen. But, for them, at least more four matches are to come in the season.
Place your bets – who is going to earn the golden boot of the PNG National Soccer League season?