The Puaikura Premier men’s team hoisted the 2017 Knockout finals cup after a dramatic 2-1 victory over Takuvaine at the CIFA Complex. The fast-paced match featured plenty of chances for both Soccer clubs, but it was Conroy Tiputoa’s goal that put Puaikura ahead to stay.
It took Puaikura just four minutes to get their noses in front when Pekay Edwards got the ball on the wing, and curled in a cross to an unmarked William Napa who then knocked the ball into the back of the net with a simple but well executed header. Puaikura continued to create chances from there and broke through again just one minute later. Dwayne Tiputoa, provided the assist for Conroy Tiputoa to drill the ball home. It was not all one-way, the lively Peni Kitiona saw an effort hit the cross bar. Takuvaine gave as good as they got and there was plenty of goalmouth action at either end of the pitch. Just past the half way mark, Daniel Taokia found himself in space on the edge of the area, but his shot was saved by Terence Maruariki. Takuvaine was two down at half time.
In front of a respectable crowd the second half showed a lot more football action. The shift in momentum was apparent in the early minutes of the second half, with Takuvaine starting to possess the ball more and more and testing Puaikura’s defence.Peni Kitiona scored early in the second half, sending a long-range kick past the Puaikura goalkeeper and into the top right corner.
The men from the Happy Valley almost found a way back into the game late in the second half when Peni Ketiona blazed his spot kick high over the cross bar. The side never gave up and pushed forward frequently. Puaikura withstood a late charge to win the 2017 Knockout Cup title.
In the Senior women’s division, Tupapa Maraerenga avenged a Round cup competition defeat by winning the knockout cup final over Titikaveka 3-1. It was a battle between two skilled teams. Titikaveka entered into Saturday’s Knockout Cup finale with a chance to win the first ever trophy for their club. Instead they lost a heartbreaker to Tupapa Maraerenga.
Tupapa Maraerenga proved they were serious fifteen minutes into the game when Moeroa Harmon scored from close-blank range. The two teams traded runs through the entire match but in the second half Tupapa Maraerenga were just unstoppable breaking through the defense to score two more goals to put the game beyond doubt.
In the U-17 men’s division it was an avalanche of goals on Wednesday last week as the entire match saw both sides taking the ball back and forth trading blows. In an extremely close encounter, Nikao Sokattak emerged the 2017 Knockout out cup winners 5-3
Here are the full results from last week’s Knockout finals round
Under 8 Mixed division
Takuvaine 1 vs Avatiu 2
Under 11 Mixed division
Nikao Sokattak 1 vs Takuvaine 2
Under 14 Girls division
Nikao Sokattak 1 vs Puaikura 0
Under 14 Boys division
Tupapa Maraerenga 0 vs Nikao Sokattak 2
Under 17 Men’s division
Nikao Sokattak 5 vs Puaikura 3
Senior women division
Tupapa Maraerenga 3 vs Titikaveka 1
Premier men’s division
Takuvaine 1 vs Puaikura 2