Soccer BY DENNYS IORERE They were more desperate. And they got the result they were longing for – a 2-1 win. And it could not have been on a better time than in the presence of Minister for Forests Douglas Tomuriesa, who is also the major sponsor of the franchise club, Eastern Stars FC. With the KPHL National Soccer League 2019 southern conference heading into the third round last Saturday, there were couple of interesting games on card. First up and opening the day at the PNG Football Stadium in Port Moresby was the match between Eastern Stars and Star Mountains. And it was the Milne Bay franchise club that broke the deadlock in the opening minutes after classic header from Tau Winnie to catch the Tabubil goalkeeper off guard, the shot hitting the back of the net for a 1-0. It was Poesi Pakot, who initially drove down the sideline before putting a clinical cross that saw Winnie reaching out for a classic header to hit the target. With the one goal advantage, the Eastern Stars lifted another gear as the Malagian brothers Vanya and Nigel, Gregory Togubai continued to probe for more goals, in some instances, winning penalties against their opponents but failing to find the target. With Pakot and Winnie having already made an impact in the early minutes were also instrumental but their opponents were also on par but more casual and use short passes more effectively until it paid off before the break. The injection of Danny Ori for the Star Mountains late in the opening half boosted their attack, and at times, pushing their opponents to tighten their backline defense but could not hold long before Star Mountains hit back to level. This time, Pettyshen Elizah, drew a couple of his opponents before slicing a pass into the goal area that found Jarus Kondi, to hit the target to put them on level points (1-1). The boys from Tabubil were not intimidated and kept on pressing, probing and attacking with Ori and Kondi putting more pressure on their opponents and, at times, having the advantage but taking wrong options that caused them dearly. And when Star Mountains were hoping for a draw at full time, the unpredictable happened and there will be cursing themselves for giving away the game from one simple mistake – a mistake that should not have occurred had Nathan Romas cleared the ball with more urgency rather than playing around within the penalty area. It resulted in him delivering a pass to his opponent Bernard Brian who fired a right foot to shake the back of the net and give his side a 2-1 victory. Brian, from Rossel Island, Milne Bay, was snatched from Greenliners, one of the Milne Bay teams that travelled to Port Moresby to participate in the Eastern Papua Cup carnival last season. Despite the goal, Eastern Stars were not quite settled and Andrew Lepani had to take the field and his presence made much difference settling the game until full time. In the other games, Gulf Komara 1 beat FC Bougainville 0, Port Moresby United 3 beat Central United 1 and Hekari United FC 5 beat Southern Strikers 0. In the NSL highlands conference, Aporro Mai FC 5 beat Enga Laima FC 0, Blue Kumuls 1 drew Simbu 1 and Kagua-Erave FC 3 beat Mt Hagen 0.