Rise With The Blues

“The motivation we got is to play our quarterfinal at home in Tahi­ti and why not keep going in the competition."
16 Feb 2019 10:00
Rise With The Blues

OFC Champions League Group B goes down to the wire as AS Central Sport face Lautoka FC while Henderson Eels are eyeing a historic quar­terfinal appearance when they play FC Morobe Wawens today at Churchill Park, Lautoka.

AS Central Sport are heading into the final match day with a foot already in the knockout stage after two wins with a superior goal difference.

Hosts Lautoka FC on other hand are facing a must win scenario coming off an upset loss against Solomon Islands’ Eels who are still in contention for the last eight with three points.

As it stands, all three teams could finish with six points and the goal differential rule might be taking into account to decide the top two positions.


Lautoka FC coach Kamal Swamy reiterated that it is a must win for his team knowing very well what is at stake.

“Looking at tomorrow’s game we can see that we have a chance to win and qualify so that is the fo­cus in the camp now,” he told OFC Media.

“We had already talk to them about tomorrow’s game and we told the players that we have to for­get about the last game to switch our focus back on the next game.

“We’ll we need to win the game to qualify for the quarterfinals. That is our aim and that’s what we are going to do.

“It’s a must win for Lautoka and we need to at least win by three goals to qualify.”

Swamy revealed his backroom staff members have a game plan in place to get maximum points against the Tahiti champions.

“We have seen their games, we have come up with a plan and we’re sure that plan will work if the players do the right things. It will be a good and we should win.

“I always talk to them like no one is indispensable, so we have been winning games all the while throughout last year, this year and everybody is after us.

“So after the loss we have come back to ground level, we look at ourselves, we have made mis­takes, let’s raise up and show what we can do,” Swamy said.

AS Central Sport coach Efrain Araneda said his team will go for the win despite facing a strong Lautoka side in an unfamiliar ter­ritory for the Tahiti Ligue 1 cham­pions.

“For us it’s a very important game, we got six points just be­hind us Lautoka and Henderson Eels have three points each,” he said.

“So this game is really primary for the future, if we draw or win we qualify and the most impor­tant thing is we finish first. The goal is clear as we are looking for victory.

“It will be a difficult game be­cause Lautoka get the pressure. They miss their last game but in our position is we need to stay fo­cus on our objective, get the quali­fying spot so we going to do our best to win this game.”

Araneda stressed that hosting a quarterfinal fixture at home is the motivation behind wanting to fin­ish top of the group.

“The motivation we got is to play our quarterfinal at home in Tahi­ti and why not keep going in the competition.

“We hope to offer that to our pub­lic and play behind them on April 6th.”

It’s a do-or-die for last season’s semi-finalists Lautoka with only a win would put them back into contention.

The clash kicks-off at 4pm.

Match officials

Referee: Nick Waldron (NZ); As­sistant Referee 1: Jeremy Garae (Van), Assistant Referee 2: Isaac Trevis (NZ); Fourth official: Calvin Berg (NZ)


Lautoka FC: 3. Zibraaz Hanif Sa­hib, 4. Afraz Ali, 5. Poasa Baini­valu, 6. Jone Vesikula, 7. Dave Radrigai, 8. Kavaia Rawaqa, 9. Benjamin Totori, 10. Samuela Na­benia, 11. Zainal Ali, 13. Muni Shi­vam Naidu, 14. Samuela Junior Drudru, 15. Osea Vakataleusau, 16. Daniel Allan, 17. Kolinio Sivoki, 19. Bong Kalo, 20. Mataiasi Toma, 22. Beniamino Mateinaqara, 23. Viliame Tabucala; Coach: Kamal Swamy (Fiji)

AS Central Sport: 1. Tetahio Teri­inohopuaiterai (GK), 2. Christian Tepau (GK), 4. Teiki Kananou, 7. Sylvain Graglia, 8. Manutahi Tetaria, 9. Cesar Castillo, 10. Man­uarii Hauata, 13. Philippe Peni, 15. Pierre Bako, 16. Mikael Roche, 17. Diego Araneda, 19. Heinui Kwong, 20. Georges Bearune, 22. Here­haunui Ferrand, 23. Lorenzo Te­hau, 24. Jacques Wamytan, 25. Pe­ter Babka; Coach: Efrain Araneda (Tahiti)


Kicking-off today at 1pm is a Melanesian clash between Eels and FC Wawens from Papua New Guinea.

With the group fairly posed, Eels coach Eddie Marahare said his team need nothing but a win to keep their hopes alive in the com­petition.

“I think we all are looking for­ward to the game because we need maximum points after beating Lautoka,” he said.

“We know that we do have a chance to qualify for the quarterfi­nals if we win the game tomorrow, so we’re looking forward to it.”

FC Morobe Wawens coach Peter Purari said despite a winless run in the competition they are deter­mined to finish their debut on a high note.

“We can’t go out bowing down but at least we make our mark in the competition,” he said.

“It’s our first time but we have really enjoyed playing in this OFC tournament. I told the players that we have to score goals in tomor­row’s game.

“We need to at least score a goal to put our mark out there in the OFC Championship as a first tim­er.

“Playing the Solomon Islanders tomorrow, watching them play against Lautoka, they are a very good side but we’ll give our best and at the end of 90 minutes we’ll find out where we stands.”

Match officials

Referee: Sione Lelenga (Tonga); Assistant Referee 1: Marc Sinyeue (New Caledonia), Assistant Ref­eree 2: Denson Sale (Vanuatu); Fourth official: Antony Riley (NZ)


FC Morobe Wawens: 1. Alois John, 2. Kenneth Palailo, 3. Nath­aniel McLeod, 4. Moses Kamak­eng, 5. Russel Kambaka, 6. Giwi Simon Muwanz, I7. Michael Saun, 8. Francis Isom, 9. Joshua Panget, 10. Elliot Foni, 11. Bernard Purari, 12. Donatus Bandi, 13. Alu Awi, 14. Jason Farrock, 17. Ferdallas Namuesh, 18. Clarence Yorris, 20. Jason Bendi, 21. William Israel Napo; Coach: Peter Purari (PNG)

Henderson Eels: 1. Desmond Tutu (GK), 2. Graham Tanavole, 3. Boni Pride, 4. Derick Taebo, 5. Fred­die Kini, 7. Obed Ofea, 8. Rodney Suri, 9. Jimmy Raramane, 10. Tuti Zama Tanito, 12. Clement Bae­geni, 15, Joses Nawo, 16. Rollence Misitana, 17, Andrew Rarangia, 18. Rolland Mamanika, 19. Hud­son Felani, 20. Augustine Tagana, 23. Raynick Laeta, 25. Joel Nanago (GK); Coach: Eddie Marahare (Sol­omons)

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


Got A News Tip

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.

For All Fiji Sun Advertising
Fijisun E-edition