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Lautoka Opt For Underdog Tag

Lautoka Opt For Underdog Tag
Tough Lautoka FC defender Brian Kaltrack (20) defends during the OFC Champions League. The Vanuatu national headed in Lautoka’s winning goal in their 2-1 victory over AS Dragon in the quarterfinal. Photo: OFC Media
April 20
11:00 2018

Lautoka Football Association boss Abdul Kadar said they are going into Sunday’s Oceania Football Con­federation’s Champions League semifinal clash against Marist FC as underdogs.

“We’ve prepared well for the match and we’re going in for a win but we prefer to go in as underdogs,” he said.

Kadar said the return of midfield general Zibraaz Sahib has further strengthened their side.

“We will play every match as it comes and we are confi­dent of a win this weekend.”

The Kamal Swamy coached- Lautoka FC have won five of their six matches. They went down 1-0 to Auckland City FC during pool play. City are the only unbeaten team in the competition.

Having a home ground advantage, Kader said the team would be giving their all. Apart from Sahib, they are banking on the likes of veteran striker Osea Vakatalesau, Dave Radrigai, Kolinio Sivoki, Pra­neel Naidu, and goalkeeper Benaminio Mateinaqara.Meanwhile, Team Wellington will meet City in an all-New Zealand semi-final, ruling out the opportunity for a repeat of the final for the three previous editions. An all-Melane­sian semifinal will be played in Lautoka.

After seeing off Lae City Dwellers with a competition record-equalling 11-0 margin, which also set a new mark for the largest win in a knockout phase, Team Wellington have earned themselves the right to play the first leg of the semifinals at home.

As mentioned, the two teams have met in the final of the last three editions of the OFC Champions League with Auckland yet to drop a match to their domestic counter­parts in this competition to date.

Kadar has urged on football fans to be at the ground on Sunday to cheer on Lautoka. He said the Blues are there to represent the nation and a win is a step closer to playing in the FIFA Club World Cup later in the year.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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