Three PNG U-19 players sent off after fight with Tahiti

first_imgSoccer A fight at the Oceania under-19 football championship left Papua New Guinea with just eight men on the field as they lost to hosts Tahiti. Kimson Kapai, Sylvester Luke and Dopson Noi were all shown red cards for their part in a brawl which broke out 20 minutes from the end of the match on Thursday (NZ time), which Tahiti won 6-0. The fracas began in the 71st minute, shortly after Tahiti scored their fifth goal. Tahitian defender Hennel Tehaamoana fell to the ground clutching his thigh, after coming together in a challenge with Kapai, and players from both teams crowded around him. Noi was on the fringes of the group, but went running into Kavai’ei Morgant of Tahiti, shoving him in the back of the head and causing tensions to flare, with players from both teams squaring up, and officials and substitutes joining the fray. As everyone moved into the centre of the park, things appeared to cool down, until a Papua New Guinea substitute punched Samuel Liparo of Tahiti in the head, knocking him to the ground. He was later carried off on a stretcher, and play resumed seven minutes after it had stopped. After referee George Time consulted with assistants Hilmon Sese and Stephen Seniga and fourth official Robinson Banga, he showed Tahiti’s Tehaamoana a yellow card. Kapai was then shown a yellow – his second of the game, leading to a red – while Noi and Luke were both shown reds. The Papua New Guinea substitute who punched Liparo went unpunished. Tahiti’s Purutu Nanuaiterai was later dismissed in the first minute of stoppage time, shortly after coming on as a substitute. The cause of his red card was unclear. Both teams are in the same pool as New Zealand, who will now face a depleted Papua New Guinea side in their final round-robin match on Sunday. The two finalists at the tournament qualify for next year’s Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Poland. – Stufflast_img

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