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PORT MORESBY, PNG (PNG Post-Courier, Aug. 10) – The feverish bite of the Papua New Guinea Mosquito is catching.

Victims of the blood-sucking Mossies include Samoa, Canada and super powers Great Britain and the latest, the United States 7.5.47 to 7.4.46.

That has resulted in PNG advancing to the Australian Football League (AFL) International Cup semi-finals held in Melbourne, Australia.

PNG’s clean bill of health gives them a strong chance of erasing the bad memories of losing in the 2002 AFL International Cup final.

PNG lost to Ireland.

In their latest win over the taller Americans, the Mosquitoes were rewarded for their persistence in holding out a late fight-back.

In a close call, the Mosquitoes managed to hold on after the Americans kicked two late goals to almost steal the match.

That would not have gone down well, especially with PNG having led all the way.

The Mosquitoes are now through to the semi-finals.

PNG had four shots in the early part of the last quarter but all four went out on the full.

This allowed the US in with a fighting chance.

Desmond Kaumu, Navu Maha, Overa Gibson and Stanley Tepend all drove the ball forward well but the defence alignment of Americans was too strong.

The PNG backline was focused on the rebound and attacked constantly but poor decisions saw three or four goals given away to the US in circumstances that kept the game close.

In the end PNG saw its lead challenged by the fast finishing Americans, but their efforts were in vain with the final hooter proving to be PNG’s saving grace.

PNG have now finished undefeated and will await the outcome of the Samoa against New Zealand match to see who finishes in the top four. The final will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The play-offs will see first play fourth and second against third, with the winners advancing to the cup final.

At this stage, PNG may play the Americans again but the percentages will decide the third and fourth spots.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

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