Two of the biggest football teams from New Caledonia, AS Magenta and Hienghène Sport clashed at Stade Numa Daly on this Saturday to decide which team would stay alive to fight for the local cup’s title against SC Ne Drehu in the final.
AS Magenta opened the scoreboard in the 18th minute with a goal scored by Shene Welepané from the penalty spot. However the team coached by Alain Moizan did not have much time to celebrate: Hienghène’s William Yentao threw the ball inside the box and a Magenta’s defender headed it into his own goal.
Both teams were looking for the goal at any cost, but the excess of will resulted in a large number of fouls – and Hienghène almost took the lead after a foul but Magenta’s goalkeeper Nicodem Hmaen saved the free kick taken by Miguel Kayara.
After some attempts, Hienghène managed to take the lead in the final minute of the first half. After confusion in the box, the ball hit the crossbar and Magenta’s defender Kévin Maitran tried to kick the ball away. However, the ball hit a Hienghène’s player and went straight into the goal.
Scoring a late goal in the first half was very good to Hienghène as the team coached by Felix Tagawa had a very good start in the second half until the 56th minute when Rocky Nyikeine made a great save to deny Shene Welepané a goal. After this, AS Magenta started to have more ball possession and they managed to equalize in the 65th minute when Nathanael Hmaen headed the ball into the net after a corner kick from the right wing.
The goal scored by Hmaen forced Hienghène’s head coach Felix Tagawa to make some changes as veteran forward Bertrand Kaï came from the bench to strengthen the team’s attack. As the game was approaching its end, nervousness was increasingly taking over the players, and the match turned into a great festival of mistakes. After one of these mistakes, the ball fell to Bertrand Kaï’s foot who almost scored for Hienghène.
Despite all efforts from both sides, the match was tied at the end of the 90 minutes and the decision was taken to the extra time. In a prolongation without many ideas, Hienghène’s Joseph Athalé almost scored from outside the box and forced the opposing goalkeeper to make a great save. The winning goal was scored by Bertrand Kaï a few minutes later to put Hienghène in the final.
Hienghène will play the final of New Caledonia Cup for the sixth straight year. This time they will face SC Ne Drehu that defeated AS Mont-Dore by 1-0 in the other semi-final. You can check more information about 2020 New Caledonia Cup by clicking here.