New Caledonian debutants AS Lössi and Suva FA from Fiji will be desperate to keep their 2016 Oceania Champions League campaigns alive on day five of the competition.
Suva FA and in-form Hekari United from Papua New Guinea will kick off tomorrow’s proceedings in Group B. The second match will pair AS Lössi with last year’s runners-up Team Wellington.
Hekari United will be hoping to build on their eye-catching performance against Lössi when they face Suva in their second group match. The 2010 Champions were clinical going forward but showed some frailties in the back.
Despite the impressive 5-1 win coach Jerry Allen admits his side still has plenty to work on.
“It’s not going to be easy and we’re focused on this second game. Suva is a good side, I watched them play and they were good against Team Wellington. We must go back and work hard and try and give our very best against Suva.”
Meanwhile Suva can take plenty of positives out of their opening match against Wellington. The Fijians were defensively well organised and showed good discipline to hold out last year’s runners-up for most of the match.
However, they will need to concentrate for the full 90 minutes to keep their championship dream alive. Suva cannot afford another defeat, but coach Gurjit Singh admits it won’t be easy against their impressive opponent.
“Hekari are always a good team, they have a good set of boys. We’ll see how it goes.”
Team Wellington were made to work hard against a stubborn Fiji defense in their opening group match. They produced 27 shots on goal but only found the net twice so will be hoping for a more clinical performance in front of goal against Lössi. Goal difference could be crucial in determining qualification to the semis but Matt Calcott insists his side won’t underestimate the New Caledonians.
“They’ve obviously done very well back in New Caledonia and from what I understand they’ve got a number of national team players. It’s the turnaround, very rarely do you play a game on Saturday and then another one on Tuesday two days later so we have to recover well and see that we’re in the best possible form come Tuesday.”
Following a disappointing 5-1 defeat in their first ever Champions League match Lössi will be looking for a much improved performance. However, it’s not getting any easier for the New Caledonians. Last year’s runners up Tem Wellington will go into the match as clear favourites. Coach Stephane Drahusak says his side must regroup and forget about their opening.
“We needed to empty our heads a bit after the last match before we started thinking about tomorrow’s game. We will try and have a much better match on Tuesday.
“Suva, without knowing much about that team, started to really test the New Zealand side and they only conceded two goals which indicates that it’s maybe a game we can compete in.”
The OFC would like to acknowledge its sponsors iRENA, Telikom PNG, Konika Minolta, Tranzit Coachlines, Frucor and UNICEF.
Hekari United vs. Suva FA
QBE Stadium Oval
Auckland, New Zealand
Tuesday 12 April, 2016
Referee: Robinson BANGA (VAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Mahit CHILIA (VAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Sione TEU (TGA)
Fourth Official: Joel HOPKKEN (VAN)
The players: Papua New Guinea international Tommy Semmy came into the tournament with a reputation for his goal-scoring prowess, speed and power. In his first match against Lössi, the young striker didn’t disappoint. The 21-year-old looked lively throughout, grabbing a goal as well as providing two assists.
The vital statistics: In their opening Group B match against AS Lössi, the 2010 Champions from PNG produced 11 shots on target. Even more importantly they converted five of those shots into goals. It’s an impressive conversion rate which underlines the danger posed by Hekari’s clinical forward line.
Squad list:1. Leslie KALAI (GK), 2. Daniel JOE, 3. Otto KUSUNAN, 5. Remueru TEKIATE, 6. Pita BOLATOGA, 7. John ALICK, 8. Papalau AWELE, 9. Karo ILA, 10. Tutizama TANITO, 11. Elkington MOLIVAKARUA, 12. David MUTA, 13. Tommy SEMMY, 14. Emmanuel SIMON, 16. Jeremy YASASA, 17. Wira WAMA, 19. Koriak UPAIGA, 20. Ismael POLE (GK), 21. Barry MANSALE, 23. Joses NAWO, 24. Mathias IANI, 25. Felix KOMOLONG, 27. Gagame FENI
Coach: Jerry ALLEN (SOL)
The players: Suva goalkeeper Benaminio Mateinaqara was in outstanding form for most of the match against Team Wellington. Last year’s runners-up produced 17 shots on target but the Suva keeper pulled off a string of brilliant saves before Ben Harris got past him with two headers. He will be eager to keep a clean sheet against AS Lössi.
The vital statistics: Suva FA had a 43 per cent share of the ball and looked comfortable against Team Wellington for much of the encounter. However, it all fell apart in the last 15 minutes when the tiring Fijians conceded twice.
Squad list: 1. Tevita KOROI (GK), 2. Epeli LEIROTI, 3. Tomasi TUICAKAU, 4. Jale DRELOA, 5. Poasa BAINIVALU, 6. Nickel CHAND, 7. Kaliova TIVULU, 9. Sakaraia NAISUA, 10. Rusiate MATAREREGA, 11. Madhwan GOUNDER, 12. Tomasi UCULOA, 13. Don RAJ, 14. Samuela DRUDRU, 15. Waisake NAVUNIGASAU, 16. Shahil DAVE, 17. Filipe BARAVILALA, 19. Pita RABO, 20. Setareki HUGHES, 22. Emori RAGATA, (GK), 23. Beniamino MATEINAQARA (GK)
Coach: Gurjit SINGH (FIJ)
AS Lössi vs Team Wellington
QBE Stadium Oval
Auckland, New Zealand
Tuesday 12 April, 2016
Referee: Averii JACQUES (TAH)
Assistant Referee 1: Bernard MUTUKERA (SOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jeffery SOLODIA (SOL)
Fourth Official: Amos ANIO (PNG)
The players: It was a tough Champions league baptism for the New Caledonian debutants against Hekari United. The performance of Leon Whanawe was one of the few positives that came out of the 5-1 defeat. The 23-year old forward looked the most likely to trouble the defenders.
The vital statistics: While they had plenty of possession in their opening match against Hekari United Lössi lacked penetration in the final third. Despite having almost an even share of the ball they rarely threatened and only managed three shots on target.
Squad list:1. Emmanuel WEJIEME (GK), 2. Kevin MAITRAN, 3. Jean Marie HMALOKO, 4. Dick KAUMA, 5. Pierre KAUMA, 6. Leon TAIN, 7. Leon WAHNAWE, 8. Wilson FOREST, 9. Jim OUKA, 10. Joerisse CEXOME, 11. Nathanael HMAEN, 12. Robert WAOUKA, 13. Romain PAINBENI, 14. Yorick HNAUTRA, 15. Fabian FOREST, 16. Paul OZIKA, 17. Jean Jacques WAHNYAMALLA, 18. Fonzy RANCHAIN, 19. Shafy MANDAOUE, 20. Mone WAMOW, 21. Marvin DRAWILO, 29. Thomas SCHMIDT (GK), 30. Michel HNE (GK)
Coach: Stephane DRAHUSAK (NCL)
The players: Striker Ben Harris underlined his importance to Team Wellington by scoring both of the side’s goals in their opening win over Suva. The 25-year-old Englishman posed a real threat with darting runs, crosses and shots on goal. However, it was his aerial dominance that proved vital.
The vital statistics: After amassing 25 shots on goal and 17 on target, the two goals scored by one of the pre-tournament favourites seems like a poor return.
Squad list: 1. Scott BASALAJ (GK), 2. Taylor HOUGH, 3. Steven GULLEY, 4. Anthony HOBBS, 5. Bill ROBERTSON, 6. Chris BALE, 7. Leo VILLA, 8. Cole PEVERLEY, 9. Tom JACKSON, 10. Luis CORRALES, 11. Mario BARCIA, 12. Andy BEVIN, 13. Alex FENERIDIS, 14. William SCOTT, 15. Mark JONES, 16. Ben HARRIS, 17. Fergus NEIL, 18. Saul HALPIN, 19. Conor McGLINCHEY, 20. Michael GWYTHER, 21. Taylor SCHRIJVERS, 22. Alex CARR, 23. Michael O’KEEFFE (GK)
Coach:Matt CALCOTT (NZL)
Story courtesy of OFC. For more on the OFC Champions League visit www.oceaniafootball.com