SPORTS

OFC Champions League: Ba FC’s Last Chance To Qualify

The Ronil Kumar-coached side fought back from a 1-0 deficit to hold hosts Erakor 1-1 in a dramatic encounter at the Korman Stadi­um in Port Vila, Vanuatu on Tuesday night.
28 Feb 2019 16:21
OFC Champions League: Ba FC’s Last Chance To Qualify
Ba goalkeeper Misiwani Narube (middle) argues with referee Hamilton Siau after awarding a controversial penalty kick to Erakor Golden Star while striker Abbu Zahid (right) tries to calm him down during the OFC Champions League clash at Korman Stadium, Port Vila, Vanuatu on February 26, 2019. Photo: OFC Media

The Ba football team will have to score a convincing win over Kiwi FC of Sa­moa tomorrow if they are to stand a chance of qualifying to the quarterfinals of the OFC Champions League.

However, they must keep their fingers crossed that hosts Erakor Golden Star does not beat or draw with Team Wellington.

The Ronil Kumar-coached side fought back from a 1-0 deficit to hold hosts Erakor 1-1 in a dramatic encounter at the Korman Stadi­um in Port Vila, Vanuatu on Tuesday night.

Coach Kumar was delighted that his side were able to keep their quarterfinal dreams alive.

“We had a lot of chances and we could have scored but I’m really happy with the draw,” he told OFC Media.

“Even though we were a goal behind at half time, they boys never lost hope. We knew if we kept on going that a goal would come.”

Ba were fortunate that Erakor had missed two penalty kicks with Ba and former Fi­jian Under-20 goalkeeper Misiwani Narube putting on a sterling performance.

“Misiwani played his heart out and he proved that he is the number one goalkeep­er for Ba,” Kumar added.

Ba goalkeeper Misiwani Narube saves the penalty against Erakor Golden Star during their OFC Champions League clash at Korman Stadium, Port Vila, Vanuatu on February 26, 2019. Photo: OFC Media

Ba goalkeeper Misiwani Narube saves the penalty against Erakor Golden Star during their OFC Champions League clash at Korman Stadium, Port Vila, Vanuatu on February 26, 2019. Photo: OFC Media

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

A rueful Erakor coach Benjamin Noel la­mented his side’s inability to convert two penalty kicks but was positive about his team’s overall performance.

“We should have scored at least three goals tonight, but sometimes the pressure of the crowd and the expectations can have an im­pact on players’ psychology.

“But I felt the boys improved from the first game and played really well against a tough Ba team. ”

Meanwhile, Team Wellington have secured their passage to the final eight of Oceania’s premier club competition in style with a re­cord 13-0 dismantling of Kiwi FC.

A disconsolate Kiwi FC coach Tamasese said; “We came prepared, we have to take the result and we have no excuse.

“Now we have to focus on the next match against Ba ,” he said.

Edited by Grace Narayan

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