Ala Kalangis’s penalty save earns a point for Penama

A lot of times we usually give more attention to strikers for scoring goals to earn a victory or a draw, however for Penama it was there goal keeper Ala Kalangis who saved a penalty which gave his side a 1-1 draw against Premiership side Mauwia in their opening group C fixture of the Presidents Cup.

Referee Delphine Joe pointed to the penalty spot in the 31st minute as Nathan Eddie touched the ball. Shem Timothy took the penalty for Mauwia but Kalangis made a well timed jump to save the ball sending supporters into excitement.

The first half ended up goaless, however after the break, Division 1 side Penama continued to pressure the Mauwia defense and in the 69th minute were awarded a free kick as Mauwia’s George Shem caused a hand ball.

Ronaldsin Ngwele stepped up to take the free kick and blasted his shot over the wall and past goal keeper Phillip Tomayan into the net to give the boys in dark blue the lead.

Penama kept pressuring the Mauwia defense and created more chances of extending the lead, however, the hope of causing an upset over a Premiership side came to an end in the 83rd minute when Vulu Essau headed in an equalizer for the boys in red.

Mauwia applied more pressure, however Penama held their defensive wall and ended the game in a draw earing them a point.

Though a lot of the main Penama players went to a wedding and did not turn up for the game, Penama captain Johnson Bakeo said, whether the first 11 takes the field or the reserves start the game, there is no difference as everyone trains together and has the ability to play football.

Bakeo was glad with the draw against a premiership side and he even happier to get a positive result since they only trained together as a team for a week after returning from holidays.

Bakeo thanks the Port Vila Football Association for organizing a tournament where lower division sides have the opportunity to play Premiership sides and feel the higher standards.

Mauwia assistant coach, Raymond George said, after the draw he sees that the standard of football in the lower divisions has really come up. 

Geroge says he also has many new players and he is glad with the draw as he feels they are bonding in with the other players, however he still feels they have a lot to work on before there next match. He believes they will bond more and continue to progress well as the tournament carries on.

Though Mauwia have lost their star striker Moffat Kiriau to Galaxy, Geroge feels the new players can fill in the space as time goes and keep the team going.

Caption: Penama above, Mauwia below

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