With three teams still in the semi-final race, it could all come down to the last match between Auckland City and Malampa Revivors after Lae City Dwellers play Western United in the last day of action for Group C in the OFC Champions League at Mangere Centre Park on Saturday (local time).
Although their only hopes of progressing relies on Malampa Revivors defeating Auckland City in their 4pm fixture, both Western United and Lae City Dwellers will be determined to secure three points and score at least three goals when they play at 1pm, just in case the Vanuatu new-comers manage to take down the long-time regional heavyweights.
Lae City Dwellers coach Peter Gunemba isn’t holding his breath about the latter Group C fixture but believes the performance of his side in their past two games proved them worthy contenders in the competition and is feeling confident about collecting the three points on Saturday.
“Looking at it, I thought the boys could win this tournament but being put in the same group as Auckland City was going to make it hard,” he said.
“The first two games we were a bit rusty because we were not well-prepared but in the last game against Western we will try to play much better to at least win two games.
“The approach won’t be different, we will play the same game we’ve been playing.”
Western United coach Commins Menapi is also feeling confident ahead of their clash against Lae City Dwellers, but believes that team still has plenty of room for improvement if they want to dominate in their final group match.
“Looking at our last game, we missed a lot of chances, so we’ve gone back to the training field to work on that,” he said.
“It’s the last game and we’re going to go out there and give our best. I want to win our last game.”
Malampa Revivors are in full focus ahead of their final match against seven-time champions Auckland City FC and although their bid for the semi-final spot ended after their second loss on Wednesday, assistant coach Steven Ham is looking forward to seeing his team go shoulder-to-shoulder against some of the best players in the region.
“We are really happy to be able to play a match against our champion club and we will enjoy our game when we play Auckland City,” he said.
“We have prepared hard and I know we will put in a good game. We will try our best to have a good finish.”
Despite their comfortable three point lead on the table, Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx is not taking any chances as they prepare for another tough battle against Malampa Revivors.
“It’s another team that can do the unexpected,” he said.
“The way they play individually is very skilful and very quick, similar to Lae City, so we understand how tough it is to play these teams. They can do things out of the blue and they can hurt you because they’ve got that individual skill.
“We need to make sure that we are tuned up for the game. It’s going to be another difficult battle against a team that’s going to run and run and run with a lot of intensity. We need to make sure we’re up for it.”
Story courtesy of OFC. For more on the Champions League visit www.oceaniafootball.com