Goals galore lead Kiwi FC to national men’s title

By Thomas Airey 19 December 2018, 12:00AM

Kiwi FC were crowned champions of the Premier men’s division of the Upolu National Football League on Saturday.

It was the first title since 2014 for Samoa’s most decorated football club, and president/head coach Martin Tamasese said the tournament was tough.

“We had a different team this year because of the commitment, not only the management but the players, that’s what really improved.

“About our defence, there were some mistakes and errors that cost us.

“The reason why we won is our attackers.”

Kiwi FC and second placed club Lupe o le Soaga finished on the same number of points, so Kiwi took out the title through their superior goal difference.

The top three individual goal scorers in the league all played for Kiwi, including golden boot winner Samuelu Malo and MVP Albert Bell.

As the National League champions, Kiwi FC will represent Samoa at the Oceania Football Confederation (O.F.C.) Champions League for the 5th time.

The preliminary round will be played in January in the Cook Islands

Tamasese said they are still training, and aren’t satisfied with the season yet.

“We need to win in the Cook Islands and reach the second stage.

With teams from New Zealand, Fiji and the Solomon Islands entering at that point, Tamasese said the better competition would be good for the players

“We want to get good results in the second stage too.

“If we come say 6th or 7th, that means next year’s National League winner would go straight to the second stage.

“That would be good not only for Kiwi but all the clubs in Samoa.

“I hope they will support us in any way they can for our preparations going into the preliminary round.”

The OFC Champions League winner goes on to represent the region at the Club World Cup each year, against the likes of European giants Real Madrid.

“I’m not a negative person, but a lot needs to be improved before we can get to that stage, but we hope to get there some day,” said Tamasese.

By Thomas Airey 19 December 2018, 12:00AM

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