Gubag Hat-Trick Seals Win For Kapuls

The NGCB PNG Kapuls star winger, Stahl Gubag scored a hat-trick to help the Kapuls win their second friendly match 5-3 against Al Matar FC in Doha, Qatar this morning.

The other goals came from Godfrey Haro who scored his first international goal along with Ati Kepo. Kapuls came on with a slow start but made sure their defense was intact. Al Matar managed to score the first 2 pointer to lead 2-1 at half time.

Kapuls Coach, Marcos Gusmao said, “The game was very tough for Papua New Guinea and the opponent was a very strong team that gave us a lot of problems in our defense, midfield and they dominated the first half.”

In coming off from the break, Gusmao made calls to firm up in the defensive and attack line to match their opponents. He said the team improved a lot in the second half and were lucky to score more goals to win the game.

Team Manager, Joseph Ealadona said Al Matar is a young side who currently leads the second tier competition in Doha and his team did well to hold them off.

The Kapuls is using the two practice matches to fine-tune their game plan for their opening match against All Whites on Friday, March 18 (Qatar Time).

“It’s two out of two which is a positive result for the team as it keep the boys mind in focus ahead of their first game against New Zealand," an excited manager said.

While there is no major injury, the medical team is managing muscle and fatique concerns, because of the seven-hour time difference between PNG and Qatar.

“This has been experienced by other teams from Oceania also so it was good we came earlier to acclimatize.”

Meanwhile, Melbourne-based PNG Kapul striker, Tommy Semmy will join the rest of the team today with David Browne still awaits clearance from the PNG Immigration Authority.

PNG Kapuls begin their campaign in Pool B against a highly fancied New Zealand side on March 18, New Caledonia on March 21 and take on Fiji on March 24.

Meantime, New Zealand Football has named a 30-person squad. Seasoned veterans Chris Wood, Kosta Barbarouses and Tommy Smith – who between them boast 150 caps for New Zealand are also included in the All Whites side.

“We knew this would be a challenging squad to put together but I’m confident in the team we’ve been able to assemble,” said All Whites Coach, Danny Hay.

“I want to thank all the clubs for the flexibility they have shown when making their players available.

“Over the past year we have shown people what we are capable of as a team. Now is when we have to put everything we have been talking about into practice as we fight to return to the FIFA World Cup,” he added.

Susan Oreape