After eventually managing to break down the strong defensive approach of the Tongans in their opening match, Papua New Guinea will face a different kind of challenge when they come up against their hosts Tahiti at 2:00 pm tomorrow afternoon at Stade Pater, Tahiti.
Meanwhile hosts Tahiti will be out to draw first blood against a lively Papua New Guinea side keen to keep accumulating points after notching the full three on Match Day 1.
When the two nations met at U-17 level at Stade Mahina on 17 February 2017, it was the Melanesians who came out on top.
Both Jonathan Allen and Emmanuel Simongi were on the scoresheet for PNG in the 2-1 victory, with local darling Eddy Kaspard the author of Tahiti’s lone goal.
All three of them are back this year to help their nations prove a point, and all three will be likely play key roles in tomorrow’s encounter, with Kaspard and Allen both getting on the scoreboard in their openers.
Papua New Guinea coach Harrison Kamake made a couple of tactical changes in his side’s first game including swapping out striker Jonathan, for younger brother Abraham.
“We had to take him out because we wanted to speed up the attacking. Abraham did that and we were happy with the two goals he scored.”
Looking ahead Kamake knows Tahiti’s style of play and their opposing physicality will cause problems for his side, however he’s hopeful the players will successfully adopt the tactical approach he wants to see implemented.
“We know the side that Tahiti have and we’re happy to go up against them in the coming game,” he said.
While they went down to New Zealand, Tahiti can be proud of the display they presented to fans who turned up in their numbers at Stade Pater on Sunday to see the national team in action.
Coach Bruno Tehaamoana said his side has shown their abilities and the cohesion which he believes will help carry his squad through the event.
“We watched Papua New Guinea’s first game and we took some points away from it both in terms of their strengths and weaknesses,” Tehaamoana said.
“I hope on Wednesday we will perform as we did against New Zealand. With all due respect to our opponent, if we can retain the level of the first match, we shouldn’t have too many difficulties.”