Higher Hurdle To Clear For Lautoka

Although the first leg in Lautoka ended in a 1-1 draw, today’s OFC Champions League semifinal in Honiara leans ever so slightly in Marist FC’s favour. Not only do they
29 Apr 2018 11:00
Higher Hurdle To Clear For Lautoka
Lautoka football side on April 22,2018. Photo: OFC

Although the first leg in Lautoka ended in a 1-1 draw, today’s OFC Champions League semifinal in Honiara leans ever so slightly in Marist FC’s favour.

Not only do they get home ground advantage and the fans that go with it, but the Solomon Islands club are also taking an away goal into the en­counter which could prove crucial to their campaign to qualify for a first-ever final.

Marisr FC coach Jerry Allen said the plan now is to win at home.

“I know we need to work on some of the things that didn’t go well and hopefully improve on them,”he said.

Allen said the way his side starts the encounter will be crucial to Marist getting the result they want from this match.

“We expect on Sunday there’ll be 20,000 plus coming out and cheer­ing for the home side and hopefully they’ll encourage the boys to keep on fighting all the way to the final.”

ital Statistics: With Davidson Tome serving a suspension and an injury cloud hanging over at least two of his starting line-up there are limited options on the bench for Jerry Allen who would be left with just 14 players if Koriak Upai­ga, Anthony Talo and Atkin Kaua prove unavailable come Sunday.

The Players: Coming back from injury the creativity, pace and en­durance of Atkin Kaua will be a welcome addition to the squad es­pecially as they’re losing Leg 1 goal scorer Davidson Tome to suspen­sion. The midfield duo of Henry Fa’arodo and Jeffery Bule will need to be on their toes once more to close down what is expected to be quite a direct approach from Lautoka.

Lautoka Coach Kamal Swamy said they can’t afford to repeat the same mistakes.

“In big games when people are under pressure they need to be disciplined. It’s part of high level football, the players need to take responsibility and know what they are doing.

“The team has the mental strength to come back. We have done it for many games and we can do it again,”he said.

Lautoka FC

Vital Statistics: Before this year’s OFC Champions League Fijian striker Osea Vakatalesau was av­eraging a goal every second game in this competition. This year has been somewhat different with his first goal not coming until the semi-final last Sunday.

The Players:Kolinio Sivoki is a quiet achiever in defence for Lautoka, With more experienced players at his side he tends to get overlooked but the former U-20 in­ternational makes a strong contri­bution and is making a name for himself with decisive, clean and timely challenges.

Marist FC

Team List: 1. Anthony Talo (GK), 2. Joachim Waroi, 3. Michael Boso, 5. Jeffery Bule, 6. Robert Laua, 7. Atkin Kaua, 8. Henry Fa’arodo, 9. Abraham Iniga, 10. Timothy Bakale, 11. Mathias Iani, 13. Nata­nela Bero, 14. Koriak Upaiga, 18. Thomas Amasia, 21. Alvin Ray, 22. Harold Nauania (GK), 24. Thomas Taloga, 25. Joachim Kairi.

Suspended: 20. Davidson Tome

Team List:1. Senirusi Bokini (GK), 2. Edward Justin, 3. Zibraaz Sahib, 4. Shazil Ali, 6. Jone Vesikula, 7. Dave Rarigai, 8. Kavaia Rawaqa, 9. Liesari Qalica, 10. Cory Chettle­burgh, 11. Praneel Naidu, 15. Peni Finau, 16. Osea Vakatalesau, 17. Kolinio Sivoki, 18. Arami Volavola, 19. Benji Totori, 20. Brian Kaltack, 22. Beniamino Mateinaqara (GK)

Suspended: 14. Samuela Drudru.


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