Besta FC makes NSL final
BESTA United PNG FC have proven bookies wrong after earning their first National Soccer League grand final while defending premiers Lae City Toti FC scaled a tight-rope finish in a penalty shootout for their third grand final appearance. Toti FC defeated Madang FC 5-4 in a penalty shootout of the other semi-final against Madang on Sunday. Crowd favourites FC Morobe Wawens missed out in a place for the grand final but it would be a sweet finish to their inaugural NSL 2018 season. The PNG Besta United FC will now take on Toti FC who are chasing their fourth consecutive title in the grand final in Lae on Saturday. Toti FC goalkeeper and Solomon Islands bound Ronald Warisan made up for miscalculated runoff from his goal mouth and sealed the 11-man penalty shootout with the winning goal for the 5-4 win against Madang FC. The scores were tied 2-2 at fulltime with Madang having a better luck throughout the match but didn’t have the capacity to hold off the sleek comeback by Toti FC, even if it was the dying seconds to full-time. Despite Madang dominance, Toti FC never let down their guards with captain Raymond Gunemba leading their charge for their comeback to eventually win. Madang FC striker Emmanuel Airem found the net early to lead 1-0 after Warisan left the goal mouth unattended in the first half and 15 minutes into the second half, Gunemba beat two defenders before setting Jacob Sabua for the equaliser. With the scores at 1-1 at full time, the game was forced into 20 minutes extra time and Madang’s supremacy mustered the tie breaker to midfielder Samuel Kini to lead 2-1. From there, Madang would just have to hold on but it was too much as they gave away a penalty through a hand ball. Gunemba found the target to see the scores level 2-2 at the end of extra time. And the fanfare continued to the third option of penalty shootout with scores again tied 3-all after the first five shots from both sides. The call for the next six to the penalty shootout weighed in on Madang FC claiming four out of six while Toti clipped one ahead for five out of six to win 5-4 in the end. Lae City Toti FC meet Besta PNG United in the 2018 NSL grand final on Saturday.