2006 Papua New Guinea National Soccer League

The 2006 Papua New Guinea National Soccer League season was the first edition of the Papua New Guinea National Soccer League, and the first ever semi-professional football competition held in the country.[1]

Papua New Guinea National Soccer League
Dates3 September – 25 November 2006
ChampionsPRK Souths United (1st title)
2007–08 OFC Champions LeagueUniversity Inter (via Continental Playoff)
Top goalscorerKema Jack
(11 goals)

The title was won by PRK Souths United, who topped the regular season table and defeated Gelle Hills United in the Grand Final.[2] Kema Jack, playing for PRK Souths, picked up the Golden Boot.[3]

Teams edit

Five teams entered the competition, representing five different associations across the country.

National Soccer League 2006
Team Association Region Honours
PRK Souths United Port Moresby Southern 2004, 2005 Port Moresby Premier League: 3rd

2003 Port Moresby First Division: Champions

Tuguba Laitepo Blue Kumuls Lae Northern 1998 National Club Championship: Runners-Up

2001, 2005 Lae Regional Championship: Champions

Welgris Momads Mount Hagen Highlands 2005 National Club Championship: 3rd

2005 Highlands Regional Championship: Champions

Gelle Hills United Central Province Southern None
Madang Flying Fox Madang Northern None

A sixth team, who were due to come from Lae, Kimbe or Bougainville, did not enter.[2]

Format edit

In the regular season, each team played each other twice. The team at the top of the league after all matches were played was crowned 'Minor Premiers'. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams advanced to a knockout competition, the winners of which were crowned Champions.

Unlike subsequent seasons, the winner of the league did not secure qualification to the OFC Champions League. Instead, the playoff winner would face off against the winner of the 2006 Papua New Guinea National Club Championship to decide who would represent Papua New Guinea in the Oceanic competition.

Summary edit

With an odd number of teams, ten rounds of action were scheduled, with one team taking a bye each round.

In the opening match of the season, TL Blue Kumuls hosted PRK Souths and the sides played out an entertaining 2–2 draw. This would prove to be a springboard for Blue Kumuls, who led the table after four rounds with seven points from three games, three ahead of PRK Souths, who had suffered a 1–0 defeat to Welgris Momads.

However, the following week, TL Blue Kumuls were pegged back after a 2–0 away defeat to Gelle Hills, while PRK Souths defeated Madang Flying Fox 2–1 to draw level on points. The two leading sides would go head-to-head on 8 October 2006, with Blue Kumuls sneaking a 1–0 away victory to put them in pole position for the Minor Premiership.

With two rounds to go, TL Blue Kumuls led the table with fourteen points, although PRK Souths, on ten, and Gelle Hills, on nine, both had a game in hand ahead of the final weekend. PRK Souths were able to edge past Welgris Momads 1–0 away, while Gelle Hills could only draw their game in hand against Madang Flying Fox, which removed them from title contention.

In a dramatic final day, PRK Souths needed to better TL Blue Kumuls' result to steal the title. In the early kick-off, the Souths enjoyed a helping hand from Gelle Hills, who beat Blue Kumuls 1–0 in a nervy encounter, and then Souths put five past Flying Fox, winning 5–1 away from home, a result which handed PRK Souths the Minor Premiership.[4]

There was a certain level of controversy in the semi-finals of the playoffs, after the first match between Gelle Hills and TL Blue Kumuls on 18 November 2006 had to be called off due to fading light.[4] On the following day, Gelle Hills soared to a 3–0 over Blue Kumuls, before they were pegged back by the league runners-up, with the tie eventually going to extra time. Eventually, Hills won through with a 6–5 victory after half an hour of extra time.[4] In the second semi-final, PRK Souths went behind twice against Madang Flying Fox but eventually went through on penalties after Flying Fox missed all of their spot-kicks.[4]

In the Grand Final, PRK Souths claimed their first title, defeating Gelle Hills 2–0.[2]

Regular season edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 PRK Souths United 8 5 1 2 18 8 +10 16 Qualified for the Championship Playoff
2 TL Blue Kumuls 8 4 2 2 10 8 +2 14
3 Gelle Hills United 8 4 1 3 10 11 −1 13
4 Madang Flying Fox 8 2 2 4 9 13 −4 8
5 Welgris Momads 8 2 0 6 7 14 −7 6
Source: RSSSF
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.

Championship playoff edit

Semi-final Grand final
1 PRK Souths United (p) 2(2)
4 Madang Flying Fox 2(0)
1 PRK Souths United 2
3 Gelle Hills United 0
3 Gelle Hills United (a.e.t.) 6
2 TL Blue Kumuls 5 Third-place playoff
4 Madang Flying Fox 0
2 TL Blue Kumuls 4

Continental playoff edit

As winners of the 2006 National Club Championship, University Inter were PRK Souths' opponents in the continental playoff.

PRK Souths United1–2University Inter
Kema Jack   29' Report Jonah Malus   59'
Lawrence Diau   87'

University Inter therefore qualified for the 2007 OFC Champions League.

References edit

  1. ^ "PNGFA – HISTORIC LANDMARK AS PNGNSL GETS UNDERWAY | Oceania Football Confederation". Oceania Football Confederation. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  2. ^ a b c "Papua New Guinea 2006". RSSSF. Retrieved 2018-11-25.
  3. ^ "NAMBASA FC JOIN EXPANDED PNGFA NSL TELIKOM CUP | Oceania Football Confederation". Oceania Football Confederation. 2008-09-12. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  4. ^ a b c d "PAPUA NEW GUINEA – NSL GRAND FINALISTS FOUND | Oceania Football Confederation". Oceania Football Confederation. Retrieved 2018-06-02.