After securing their first victory in match day one of the OFC Champions League, the Papua New Guinea champion club Lae City Dwellers FC are keen for a repeat performance against Ba FC of Fiji in Group A’s first Match Day 2 encounter t at 1300 pm today.
Peter Gunemba’s Dwellers side felt they found their stride in their opening match against the Cook Islands club champions as they netted seven goals. However the two they let in will be of concern to the coach who will look to bolster his defence against what will be a determined Ba.
“I was thinking about and I said to the team, ‘Ba really want to go through to the quarter finals so it’s not going to be an easy game for us’,” Gunemba said.
“They’re a very good team and they lost their first game so they will be coming very hungry at us on Tuesday. We need to be prepared.”
Gunemba is right about Ba being hungry for a victory.
The side want to restore some pride after being outshone by the home side Nalkutan putting even a share of the points out of their grasp.
“You know, the result from the first match day was disappointing,” Ba’s Ronil Kumar said.
“We had some opportunities in the first half that we should have taken and we were punished by Lae. We’ve looked at where we made our mistakes and worked on them in training over the past two days so I hope that will show on the field.”
Lae City Dwellers
Vital Statistics: Seven is the most goals scored in any one game of the OFC Champions League by Lae City Dwellers. The previous best was five against Malampa Revivors of Vanuatu in 2017.
The Players: We saw the threat that Nigel Dabinyaba and Raymond Gunemba can pose when they play alongside each other. Tutizamo Tanito is another credible attacker who showed his pace and skill up the left.
Coach Quote: “We have never met them, we have never played them. Ba is a good team, they’ve been there for a long time in the Champions League and we know they are hungry to get to the top this year. We are prepared for this game and I think both teams will fare well.”
Team List: 1. Matheson NASA (GK), 2. Maybon PWESEI, 3. Valentine NELSON, Goropaul ALBERT, 5. Mosie MILUBWA, 6. Troy GUNEMBA, 7. Raymond GUNEMBA, 8. Jacob SABUA, 9. Nigel DABINYABA, 10. Obert BIKA, 11. Adolf KUMISI, 12. Mathew DAVID, 14. Emmanuel SIMON, 15. Ken KEPE, 16. Japhet TIAMPO, 17. Billson BULO, 18. Peter DABINYABA JNR., 19. Makis GELMAL, 20. Ronald WARISAN (GK), 21. Clement WILLIS, 22. Andrew RARANGIA, 24. Tutizama TANITO, 30. Dennis GANNI (GK)
Coach: Peter GUNEMBA [PNG]
Vital Statistics: Ba had just six shots at goal in their opening match, and just one of those was on-target.
The Players: Josaia Ratu had an impressive 90 minutes with Nalkutan putting some powerful shots on target which put his agility to the test. He took a knock against Nalkutan which may see him sit out the side’s second game, but among the replacements is former Fiji U-20 goalkeeper Misiwani Nairube who should provide good cover if required.
Coach Quote: “We picked up a few injuries and knocks in the first match and we’ll wait until match day to do the final assessment. All going well, we shouldn’t have many, if any, changes to our starting eleven.”
Team List: 1. Misiwani NAIRUBE (GK), 2. Avinesh SUWAMY, 3. Meli CODRO, 4. Manasa NAWAKULA, 5. Amal SINGH, 6. Aakash SHARMA, 7. Samuela NABENIA, 8. Malakai RAKULA, 9. Abbu ZAHID, 10. Amena BOLAITAMANA, 11. Sitiveni CAVUILAGI, 12. Troy WATSON, 13. Jonetani NEWA, 14. Kishan SAMI, 15. Saula WAQA, 17. Narendra RAO, 18. Laisenia NAIOKO, 19. Shivneel SINGH, 20. Josaia RATU (GK), 21. Nathan BROWN, 22. Atunaisa NAUCUKIDI (GK), 23. Sanaila WAQANICAKAU
Suspended: 16. Malakai TIWA
Coach: Ronil KUMAR [FIJ]