THE Papua New Guinea senior men’s football team, the Kapuls, arrive today ahead for their first home-and-away World Cup Qualifying match against the Solomon Islands on Friday at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara.
Kapuls coach Fleming Serristslev knows that the Bonitos will be hard to beat at home as soccer is the number one sport in the Solomon Islands and the hosts will be expected to deliver.
The Dane guided the Kapuls to the final of the OFC Nations Cup last year in a match where PNG kept a highly-fancied New Zealand scoreless over 120 minutes of football at the Sir John Guise Stadium before losing in a shootout.
The 70-year-old Dane also marshalled his side to another first earlier this year when he took a side who recorded the country’s first win against the Polynesians. Based on those achievements and the feeling in camp, Serritslev was confident his side had the ability to upset the Solomon Islands. “I have so much confidence in the boys because they are very committed in training,” Serritslev said.
“They have been working very hard since we came into camp two weeks ago and they are willing to make their country proud.”
Both Melanesian sides have two games in hand and the group winner should be decided between the Kapuls and the Solomon Islands, however depending on the results.
Serritslev said they had nothing to lose in their Honiara match and they would take the same mindset that served them so well in Papeete last month.
“We want to go there to win,” Serritslev said.
“We know it’s going to be tough but we want the win.”
Serristlev said his squad was healthy and fit and raring to go with the only dampener the loss of striker Nigel Dabinyaba on a one-match suspension.
“We have Raymond Gunemba and David Browne, both have been doing well in training. We have Patrick Aisa there too so I think we have good strike power to get us goals.”
The team is once again captained by mid-fielder Michael Foster.
PNG Kapuls: Ronald Warisan, Ila David, Alwin Komolong, Felix Komolong, Roland Bala, Clement Wilis, Philip Steven, Abel Redenut, Donovan Murray, Emmanuel Simon, Jacob Sabua, Michael Foster, David Browne, Partick Aisa, Obert Bika, Raymond Gunemba, Richard Alois.