Hekari Loses Game, But Wins Our Hearts

My Tambu Hazel Cheering Strong For PNG Against 23,000 Arab Fans

It must be an unbelievable feeling for every MRDC Hekari player to have been whisked away on what has been like a magic carpet ride to the UAE. Make no mistake about it these boys have worked hard for it and yes we were ‘out-classed’ to go down 3-0 in our first game against local UAE team Al Wahda, but could we have asked for more? 

I don’t think so, Hekari did us proud by just being there. Since when has any Pacific Island country outside of Australia and New Zealand ever been to a FIFA World Club Cup competition? We’re talking here about reaching the levels where you’re playing against the likes of international billion dollar football clubs.

To John Kapi Natto, his wife Vonnie, MRDC, to all the admin staff and everyone else behind the scenes from around the Pacific and PNG who contributed in some way, big or small in getting Hekari this far. I salute you, (if I could I’d give you a HUGE hug and a quick kiss if you’re pretty), I wish you a Merry Christmas and I say by God or Allah lets do this again next year!!!

Enjoy the pics below, courtesy of Getty Images:

Al-Wahda's Brazilian midfielder Magrao (L) challenges Hekari United's midfielder David Muta during the opening football match of the FIFA Club World Cup at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on December 8, 2010.
Al-Wahda Club player Mahmoud Al Hammadi, right, fights for the ball against Hekari United player Abraham Iniga, left, during their FIFA Club World Cup qualifying soccer match at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Al-Wahda's Issa Ahmed (L) challenges Hekari United's Malakai Tiwa during the opening football match of the FIFA Club World Cup at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on December 8, 2010. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANI (Photo credit should read MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Al-Wahda's Brazilian midfielder Magrao (C) is challenged by Hekari United's Alvin Singh (front) and Malakai Tiwa (back) as they jump to head the ball during the opening football match of the FIFA Club World Cup at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on December 8, 2010. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANI (Photo credit should read MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Hekari United's Koriak Upaiga (L) advances towards Al-Wahda's Brazilian striker Fernando Baiano as he controls the ball during the opening football match of the FIFA Club World Cup at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on December 8, 2010. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANI (MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Al-Wahda Club player Ismaeil Matar, left, fights for the ball against Hekari United player Alvin Singh during their FIFA Club World Cup qualifying soccer match at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Al-Wahda's Brazilian striker Fernando Baiano (back-C) is challenged by Hekari United players during the opening football match of the FIFA Club World Cup at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on December 8, 2010. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANI (NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)