PNG win Melanesia Cup

PHOTO: PNG Football Association

PNG came out on top of the MSG Prime Ministers Cup 2022.

The tournament, previously known as the Melanesia Cup and reborn this year, was held in Vanuatu and finished in an exciting final on Friday, September 30.

To make it six teams in the tournament a Vanuatu B team, known as Vanuatu Development Team, were added to the competition, in a group with Vanuatu A and Papua New Guinea. Fiji, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia made up the other group.

And it was the Vanuatu B team that would make it all the way to the final, knocking out Vanuatu A on better goal difference in the group stage.

In the semi-final Vanuatu B beat Solomon Islands on penalties, while Papua New Guinea secured a finals spot thanks to Nigel Dabinyaba against Fiji.

That meant it would be a rematch of the group stage game, which saw PNG win 2-1.

But it was Vanuatu B who took charge of the game, taking a 2-0 lead before half an hour was played at a packed Korman Stadium in Port Vila.

Jordy Tasip and Joe Moses scored the goals for Vanuatu B.

But it was Nigel Dabinyaba who would pull PNG back into the game with a goal in the 38th and 64h minute.

That meant extra time in Port Vila.

First Vanuatu B’s Richie Ravo broke free and sent the ball towards the net. Alwin Komolong slid in for a goal line clearance, but the linesman meant the ball had crossed the line, to heavy protests from the PNG players.

But a few minutes later Raymond Gunemba would once again level the scoreline, and the teams would end extra time at 3-3.

In the penalty shootout it was PNG who came out on top, winning 4-1 after Vanuatu B missed their first two spot kicks. Fiji took the third place, beating Solomon Islands in the third-place playoff.