by Shane Saroya – EM TV Sport, Port Moresby
A gallant display by Papua New Guinea was not enough for the hosts, succumbing to a one nil loss to Pacific Champions New Caledonia this afternoon, in their opening soccer fixture.
The hosts had been hoping that the home crowd advantage would be a bonus, but despite dominating the game, were unable to make the most of it.
PNG had been looking to use the experience of playing together top show that they had blended well.
However, their combination from upfront in strikers Patrick Aisa and Tommy Sammy, failed to gel.
PNG had their chances to score however, with Aisa, also missing from point blank range.
New Caledonia, however, made better use of their opportunities and it was header that would prove the difference between the two sides.
PNG now faces the daunting prospect of facing New Zealand on Sunday.