Week 12 of the Upolu National Football League concluded at the Tuanaimato fields yesterday afternoon.
Moaula FC and Vaiusu SC played out an entertaining 2-all draw, with Moaula’s U16 national team representative Samu Galu Tauasa nabbing an equaliser with the last kick of the game.
Vaipuna SC had a 5-1 win over Togafuafua SC, while Lupe o le Soaga Samoa Rush beat Moataa FC 10-0.
Vaitele Uta won 8-2 over Vaivase FC, and Lepea FC beat Adidas SC by the same score.
Football Federation Samoa (F.F.S.) Premier Men’s Division competition manager Papalii Laautuivana Lemamea said each of the 12 clubs are strong.
“The league is close this year, there are interesting results every round”
He said the league functions a little like trials for the national team over a full season.
“Every club has 1-2 players who make it.”
The Samon national football team will start training together soon in preparation for the Pacific Games next year.
Lemamea said that tournament is different to Oceania Football Confederation competitions they also play in
“Because New Zealand won’t be there, all the island teams have a real chance at winning.”
“Football in Samoa is still moving forward”, he said.
“I see new faces in the national league each year and there are good opportunities for the young kids.”
Eight weeks remain in the competition, with the winning club going on to represent Samoa in the 2019 Oceania Champions League.
Lupe o le Soaga Samoa Rush had that spot last year, but could miss out as they were only 2nd in the national league leading into Week 12.
It would be the first time since 2014 that a club other than Lupe o le Soaga are crowned champions.
Lupe o le Soaga coach Paul Ualesi said the competition has been tough this year.
“It’s really tight in the top four, all the teams here are competing for first.
“Last year we had some big scores, but every team is good now.”
Ualesi said the Oceania Champions League is a great opportunity for players to showcase themselves to clubs overseas.
“We really want to go again, so we need to work hard over the last eight games.”