Monday, 7 May 2007 10:40 AM

Laugu held Makuru to a two-all draw

In a fast and entertaining game played out in front of a good crowd at the Lawson Tama on Saturday saw two heavy weights of the Honiara Football League Premier division went head to head.

Those that witnessed the game could not complain of the standard displayed by both teams on that Saturday afternoon. Die hard fans who enjoyed the cool evening weather were satisfied with the product on display. The game was played with tactical display of precision passing and dribbling skills. Makuru with their aggressive approach set the pace of the game early, attacking the Laugu defense at will, had it not for the defensive work of Philip Kaukui; Makuru could have taken the lead earlier in the game.

The referee pointed to the middle of the field disregarding Laugu's protests. In the next phase of play Makuru went on attack again, while Laugu defence was still recovering from the goal. This time it was Junior who turned provider sent a through ball to Seda on the left flank who out ran Philip Kaukui then beat the keeper and from a tight angle curl the ball to hit the far left hand post and into the net for their second.

Laugu sensing defeat picked up the pace and created their own moments of luck but failed to go past the national custodian Felix Ray Junior. Laugu made several attacks and created space out wide, sending the ball to its midfielders to shoot. On the 22nd minute Makuru was penalized for dangerous tackle on a Laugu striker. A quick pass to an unmarked Laugu striker caught the Makuru defenders napping. The striker made a good break however his shot went over the crossbar by miles.

The two teams went to the break, with Makuru leading the scoreboard. Laugu's coach might have said something to the boys at halftime because it seemed to work. Laugu came back after the break firing at all cylinders. Although, Laugu was two goals down it never showed on the Laugu players. They kept attacking and creating more chances at will. They stopped playing their normal style of football and played to Makuru's game. Attacking from deep, using its opposite flankers to send balls to the far wings beating the offside trap at will. In one of these deep passes, playing from right to left, Laugu kept attacking Makuru's goal. In the 50th minute Elliot Suri, the hard working Laugu midfielder was unlucky not to score for his team, when his shot went inch wide. The pace of the game kept the assistant referees busy all night.

Makuru on the 52nd minute was down to 10 men when Qalokale was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Laugu striker. Laugu with one man advantage spread the ball wide and kept attacking from wide. Makuru had to readjust to playing with 10 men brought their defenders from wide in so doing allowed the Laugu's flankers to run at will. Like Makuru in the first half, in a space of two minutes Laugu scored their two goals to draw level with Makuru. The first came from a well taken strike in the 58th minute, from 20 meters out, when Thomas Meke rivaled a powerful shot pass the national keeper who was made to watch from a very tight angle. Meke took the shot with perfect power and accuracy that it went straight to the top right hand corner of the goal post. The goal would have gone in, regardless of who stood between the posts.

The second came in the 60th minute from the next play, when from the center, Laugu stole the ball from Makuru in the midfield, played it wide to their running flanker who read the pass, received the ball and had enough time to send in a perfect flowing ball, Max Menapi came in the last minute to head the ball to the to left hand corner of Makuru goal for his team's second for the night. Laugu players celebrated and supporters were heard creaming for more.

Laugu could not repeat the feat. In the 65th minute Makuru keeper Felix was unhappy with his defenders and decided to leave the field of play. Makuru with 10 men had to defend well with the reserve keeper to prevent further goals from Laugu. Makuru came back strongly in the dying minute but Laugu was satisfied with the draw and defended the draw until the final whistle.

The draw now completes all the games for Makuru who now still sits at the top of the table with 50 points awaiting Marist's games. Marist if wins alls its game may finish with 50 points but the winner will be the team with better goal difference.

In the earlier game, Kossa beat the young and very skillful Walas team by four to Walas' one. Kossa showed its class by beating Walas. Kossa still has a slim chance but will have to follow Marists game very closely. Marist will have to lose three of its last games to give Kossa any hope of making the last qualifying spot for the Solomon Islands Club championship which will be held next

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province