“It was a great opening weekend and I look forward to a great 2012 season,” said FFAS President Iuli Alex Godinet after officially declaring the league open during a brief opening ceremony.
“I see a change in the way teams are playing now especially now that the men’s teams are playing in different divisions according to their strengths,” said FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua said at the end of the day after watching all the games.
The FFAS National League Division 1 Cup was wrested away by 2011 defending champions Pago Youth A from holders Utulei Youth 5-2.
In other Division 1 matches it was Vaitogi 6, Tafuna Jets 3, Kiwi Soccers 5, Pago Youth B 2 and Black Roses 2, Lion Heart A 0.
Division 2 cup holders Taputimu Youth, also a new team in the competition as well as an FFAS new member club addition this year, held on to their prize with a late equalizer against a strong challenger in Lion Heart B.
In other Division 2 games it was FC SKBC 5, Vaiala Tongan 0, Atu’u Broncos 1, Green Bay 0 and PanSa 4, Ilaoa & To’omata 0.
The women’s cup also changed hands with Kiwi Soccers beating Ilaoa & To’omata 3-0.
In other games for the women’s division it was PanSa 3, Green Bay 2, Black Roses 12, Vaiala Tongan 0, defending champs Pago Youth 1, Taputimu 1, Utulei Youth 5, Tafuna Jets 0 and Lion Heart had a bye weekend.
There are eight teams in Division 1, eight in Division 2 and 11 in the women’s competition.
DIVISION 1 CUP CHALLENGE
PAGO YOUTH A 5, UTULEI YOUTH 2
AJ Tualaulelei scored twice with a goal apiece in both halves as the defending champs turned a tough first half match into a big win in the second.
By the end of the first Pago Youth was leading 2-0 and Utulei Youth came out strong in the second with Ne’emia Kaleopa scoring just five minutes into the period to cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
But three goals in a span of 15 minutes helped Pago A successfully wrest the shield as they went on to win 5-2.
TAPUTIMU YOUTH 1, LION HEART B 1
Desperation time led to desperate measures with Taputimu sending everybody but the goalkeeper in on the attack for an equalizer that eventually came by way of a penalty kick on a handball inside the box infringement.
Bobby Nu’usila calmly struck the PK with a minute left to play in regulation to tie the match 1-1 and allow them to hold on to the FFAS National League Division 2 Cup for another week.
Lion Heart B’s goal came through the same result with a PK resulting from a deliberate handball in the box early in the start of the second half. Suiaunoa Afu kicked the PK for Lion Heart B.
It was a thrilling game with Lion Heart B just a minute away from winning the shield.
KIWI SOCCERS 3, ILAOA & TO’OMATA 0
Despite playing with only 10 players, Kiwi Soccers successfully challenged holders Ilaoa & To’omata for the women’s 2012 FFAS National Cup with a 3-0 showing.
It was a tight first half with Kiwi leading by only one thanks to a free kick shot a meter beyond the penalty box by Ruby Fia.
Fia went on to score a second goal in the second period to make it 3-0.
Elizabeth Uti scored the other goal for Kiwi.