The 2019-20 PVFA Premier League’s regular season was very interesting in Vanuatu: while Ifira Black Bird clinched the title with one round in advance, Mauwia, Sia-Raga and Yatel spiced up the league by fighting against relegation until the last matchday. To the joy of some and the sadness of others, Sia-Raga were relegated to PVFA First Division.
The story of this article begins in the 2017-2018 season when Mauwia were relegated from the PVFA Premier League with 14 losses in 14 games – a shameful campaign for the red team. However, they managed to return to the top tier league from Port Vila after a good campaign at 2018-2019 PVFA First Division.
There were no expectations about Mauwia before the start of 2019-20 PVFA Premier League and the team’s first results in the championship showed this: five losses in the first five matches of the season, including a 10-0 defeat to Galaxy FC and a 6-1 defeat to Tupuji Imere.
The league stopped in December as Galaxy FC started their preparation to play 2020 OFC Champions League. At that moment Mauwia was in the eighth and last position with only six points in nine games. The team also had the worst defensive record of the championship with 28 goals conceded.
Initially scheduled to resume in March, the tournament only resumed in September due to two things: the COVID-19 pandemics and the National League Championship that was contested in August. Mauwia’s first league match after the COVID-19 pandemics was not very encouraging – an 1-0 defeat to Tafea.
Mauwia’s relegation to PVFA First Divsion was already something certain for most people, but not for the players and staff. The 2-0 victory against Tupuji Imere in the 11th matchweek was a boost in the team’s morale. After this surprising victory, the team still tied two games: against Erakor Golden Star and Yatel.
After spending most of the season in the last position, the Mauwia arrived in the last matchweek of the season in seventh position and depending only on their own forces to avoid relegation. Their last match of the regular season was a do-or-die clash against bottom-placed side Sia-Raga and the final score was a 2-0 victory to Mauwia that finished the season in the sixth position with fourteen points.
Mauwia’s amazing run to avoid relegation needs to motivate them to fly higher next season. The supporters of the team want and deserve it!