OFC Champions League: Ifira Black Bird is punished by its mistakes as Hekari United emerges victorious

Hekari United secured a confident 2-0 victory over Ifira Black Bird at Freshwater Stadium in Port Vila, Vanuatu, in a highly anticipated match of the OFC Champions League. As the representatives of Papua New Guinea, Hekari United displayed their prowess on the field, creating numerous chances throughout the game.

The match started with a frenetic pace, as both teams exhibited great energy and determination. However, the initial moments were marred by several passing mistakes from both sides. Despite the early struggles, Hekari United managed to take control of the game and launch a series of attacks.

Hekari’s Oberth Simon, showcased his skills with two powerful shots during the first half. However, Ifira’s defense remained resolute, preventing any breakthroughs and denying Hekari United the lead. On the other hand, Ifira Black Bird, playing on their home turf, demonstrated their speed upfront through the efforts of Tonly Kalotang and Jonathan Spokeyjack, creating opportunities to score. But Hekari’s goalkeeper, Dave Tomare, stood firm, thwarting all their attempts.

The dynamics of the match shifted in the second half, favoring the former OFC Champions League champions, Hekari United. Ifira’s goalkeeper, Antonie Taiwia, made a crucial blunder by leaving the box with the ball in his hands, committing a foul. Hekari capitalized on this mistake, with Yagi Yasasa stepping up to take the resulting free-kick with precision and finding the back of the net in the 58th minute, breaking the deadlock and opening the scoring.

Yasasa (red) was the man of the match – OFC Media

Buoyed by their goal, Hekari United settled down to defend their league and pursue counters, showing their experience and composure. In the 82nd minute, Yasasa proved instrumental once again, setting up 19-year-old substitute Rex Naime. Naime found himself in a one-on-one situation against Ifira’s goalkeeper and calmly slotted the ball home, extending Hekari’s lead to 2-0.

Despite their best efforts, Ifira Black Bird was unable to mount a comeback, and the match ended with Hekari United emerging as the deserving winners. This victory puts Hekari in a favorable position as they still have two matches remaining in Group B.

In their upcoming fixture, Hekari United will face Tiga Sport, while Ifira Black Bird faces a formidable challenge against AS Pirae on Thursday, May 18th. The outcome of these matches will play a crucial role in determining the final standings of Group B in the OFC Champions League, adding further excitement to the tournament.


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