The Papua New Guinea National Soccer League kicked off on 13 January after a stalled start to the season.
The league, the officially recognised tournament by Oceania Football Confederation and FIFA, has just seven teams after last year’s playoffs were abandoned.
To avoid any future abandonment of the tournament it comprises of a league only, with each team playing 14 games. The top two teams will qualify for the Oceania Champions League in 2019.
A total of seven teams will enter the league with three new arrivals.
Last year’s winners Lae City Dwellers return with a name change to Toti City Dwellers thanks to a new sponsor, while fellow Champions League qualifiers Madang FC return.
Papua New Guinea development side Besta PNG United, which includes u23 players from the national team, is the third returning team to the National Soccer League. Buang FC will also compete once again.
New teams include FC Momase, FC Morobe Wawens and the Southern Strikers.
Papua New Guinea National Soccer League fixtures and results
Week 1 – Saturday 13 January 2018
Madang FC 3-1 FC Morobe Wawens – Laiwaden Oval
Madang FC scorers: Vanya Malagian (pen), Emmanuel Airem (2)
Morobe scorer: Donatus Bandi
Toti City Dwellers 3-2 Besta PNG United – SIK, Lae
Toti City Dwellers scorers: Obert Bika, Goropaul Albert, Nigel Dabinyaba
Besta PNG United scorers: Barthy Kerobin, Ernest Gwetep
Week 2 – Saturday 20 January 2018
Toti City Dwellers 8-1 Buang FC
Toti City Dwellers scorers: Raymond Gunemba (2), Emmanuel Simon (2), Nigel Dabinyaba (2), Tutizama Tanito and Maybon Pwessi
Buang scorer: Valentine Nelson (og)
Madang FC 5-0 Southern Strikers
Madang scorers: Neil Hans (2), Emmanuel Airem (2), Papalau Awele
Besta 3-1 Momase
Besta scorers: Barty Kerobin, Emmanuel Simongi, Jonathan Allan
Momase: Elton Banam
Week 3 – Saturday 27 January 2018
Toti City Dwellers 7-2 Madang FC
Toti City Dwellers scorers: Raymond Gunemba (3), Nigel Dabinyaba (2), Tutizama Tanito and Obert Bika
Madang FC scorer: Nigel Malagian (2)
FC Morobe Wawerns 2-1 Buang FC
FC Morobe Wawerns scorers: Joshua Gwae (2)
Buang FC scorer: Yama Shong
Week 4 – Saturday 3 February 2018
Morobe Wawems 3-4 Southern Strikers
Morobe Wawems scorers: Philip Steven, Joshua Gwae, Michael Shaun
Southern Strikers scorers: Pettyshen Elizah, Kenneth Arah (2), Gregory Togubai
Fc Momase 1-2 Toti City Dwellers
FC Momase scorer: Basil Jofari
Toti City Dwellers scorers: Raymond Gunemba, Nigel Dabinyaba
Buang FC 1-6 Madang FC
Buang scorer: Peter Garos
Madang FC scorers: Nigel Malagian, Markslan Pulung (2), Stahl Gubag (2), Lagarap Samol
Week 5 – Saturday 10 February 2018
Besta Utd 1-2 Morobe Wawems
Morobe scorers: Alu Awi, Moses Kamkeng
Besta scorer: Irenus Wibewa
Madang FC 2-2 Momase
Madang scorers: Stahl Gubag (2)
Momase scorers: Basil Jofari, Moses Arisib
Week 6 – Saturday 17 February 2018
Momase 3-1 Southern Strikers
Mamose scorers: Jesse Niebo, Ricky Togubai, Moses Arisib
Southern Strikers scorer: Gregory Togubai
G Kanamon sent off for Momase
Raymond Gunemba (Toti) – 6
Nigel Dabinyaba (Toti) – 6
Emmanuel Airem (Madang) – 4
Stahl Gubag (Madang) – 4
Joshua Gwae (Morobe) – 3
Nigel Malagian (Madang) – 3
Neil Hans (Madang) – 2
Emmanuel Simon (Toti) – 2
Barty Kerobin (Besta) – 2
Tutizama Tanito (Toti) – 2
Obert Bika (Toti) – 2
Kenneth Arah (Southern Strikers) – 2
Markslan Pulung (Madang) – 2
Basil Jofari (Momase) – 2
Moses Arisib (Momase) – 2
Gregory Togubai (Southern Strikers) – 2
Papalau Awele (Madang) – 1
Emmanuel Simongi (Besta) – 1
Jonathan Allan (Besta) – 1
Elton Banam (Momase) – 1
Maybon Pwessi (Toti) – 1
Goropaul Albert (Toti) – 1
Ernest Gwetep (Besta) – 1
Donatus Bandi (Morobe) – 1
Vanya Malagian (Besta) – 1
Yama Shong (Buang) – 1
Philip Steven (Morobe) – 1
Michael Shaun (Morobe) – 1
Pettyshen Elizah (Southern Strikers) – 1
Peter Garos (Buang) – 1
Lagarap Samol (Madang) – 1
Alu Awi (Morobe) – 1
Moses Kamkeng (Morobe) – 1
Irenus Wibewa (Besta) – 1
Jesse Niebo (Momase) – 1
Ricky Togubai (Momase) – 1
Where is the National Soccer League taking place?
The 2018 tournament will take place in three venues instead of the single location for the 2017 league. The opening weekend will see games in Madang, one in Lae and one in Port Moresby.
What about the breakaway league?
Papua New Guinea football was rocked when several teams left the NSL to form their own breakaway league. The rebel governing body, FFPNG, did so because it believes the incunbant head of the PNG FA and head of the Oceania Football Association David Chung, did not win the vote legitimately.
A breakaway league was formed and Hekari United, the only Champions League winner outside New Zealand, moved across along with other teams.
Last year players were banned from playing in the NSL if they were part of the breakaway but those rules have been relaxed.
A statement says “FFPNG Players who wanted to play in the National Soccer League are allowed and does not need clearance from any party however they cannot hop back once they are with PNGFA registered team, highlighted by Gonjuan.”