Royal Puma shocked the two-time defending champions, Pago Youth A, with a 4-2 win to wrest the FFAS National Cup away during the opening day of the 2018 FFAS National League.
The league kicked off of Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 with 12 men’s teams competing this year from 11 clubs. Pago Youth has two teams competing in the men’s competition. In other games, Lion Heart and Utulei Youth played to a 1-1 draw, Ilaoa & To’omata edged Green Bay 3-2, PanSa held off Pago Youth B 2-1, Taputimu Youth beat Vaiala Tongan 2-1 and the Tafuna Jets beat the Black Roses 7-0.
In the cup game, Alatina Vaialii, formerly of the Pago Youth club, scored twice to help Royal Puma pull away 4-2 after the game was deadlocked at 2-2. Both Pago Youth goals were penalty kicks converted in both halves.
Royal Puma scored first in the game after Pago Youth’s goalie tried to clear the ball away but had it blocked into the goal. Pago Youth answered with their first converted PK.
In the second half, Royal Puma went up 2-1 only to have Pago Youth tie it again with their second penalty kick.
In the last 20 minutes of the game Vaiali’i hit two perfectly timed shots from outside the box that found the back of the net to help Royal Puma wrest the cup away from Pago Youth. The cup, two years in a row, has found a new home after Pago Youth took it away from Utulei Youth in 2017 on the first game of the National League.
LION HEART 1, UTULEI YOUTH 1
Utulei Youth scored a late goal to tie the game against Lion Heart in a very tough and competitive match.
Both teams looked strong on the first day of the competition and have shown themselves to be top contenders for this year’s title.
Utulei Youth will take on Vaiala Tongan this coming Saturday while Lion Heart faces off against the Tafuna Jets.
ILAOA & TO’OMATA 3, GREEN BAY 2
Joe Koroiadi scored the game winner for Ilaoa & To’omata late in the second half in a tightly contested match. The first half ended in a 1-1 tie.
Ilaoa & To’omata takes on Taputimu Youth on Match Day 2 while Green Bay faces off against PanSa.
PANSA 2, PAGO YOUTH B 1
PanSa held off a feisty Pago Youth B 2-1 during the team’s opening games of the season.
PanSa will play against Green Bay next Saturday while Pago Youth B takes on their own club team, Pago A.
TAPUTIMU YOUTH 2, VAIALA TONGAN 1
In a weekend of close games, Taputimu Youth got the into the win column after they edged Vaiala Tongan 2-1.
Folasa Vili scored twice for Taputimu Youth while Kauvaha Tua scored for the losing side.
TAFUNA JETS 7, BLACK ROSES 0
The game started off very competitive for both teams, but slowly the Tafuna Jets showed their dominance by winning the possession percentage that eventually led to a blowout win.
Mila Osa completed his hat trick with two goals in the second half, while Henry Osa scored twice for the Jets.
Tafuna has a tough game this coming Saturday against Lion Heart while Black Roses will challenge for the cup against Royal Puma.