02/17/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/16/2020 22:46
Someone needs to break the deadlock of Group B in the OFC Champions League.
Following an entertaining opening match day that produced two drawn fixtures, the group is there for a team to take control of with a victory in their second outing in Luganville, Vanuatu on Tuesday.
Fiji's Lautoka FC will open proceedings when they meet Papua New Guinea's Lae City FC, in what looms as an intriguing battle.
Lautoka struggled with their combinations during their 1-1 draw with Malampa on Saturday as they tried to bed in a number of new players to their squad.
On the flipside, Lae enjoyed some bright moments in their 3-3 draw with the Henderson Eels and played with plenty of pace, which looks to be their main weapon in the Champions League.
Lautoka coach Ananda Swamy said his side needed to improve their defence for the meeting with Lae.
'They're falling behind the ball and they're not trying to press the player with the ball and they're giving [them] plenty of time to play the long ball, or hit it in the scoring areas,' Swamy said of his defenders.
'We have to polish up on pressing very quickly. Our players need to press up very quickly to the ball carrier.'
Lautoka were without Dave Radrigai (suspension) and Shazil Ali (illness) for the first game but Swamy said they would slot straight back in on Tuesday.
Radrigai has more than 20 international caps for Fiji and his experience should serve as vital to their cause.
In the second game, the Malampa Revivors will need to juggle their attacking line for their clash with Solomon Islands club the Henderson Eels after forward Andre Batick was shown a red card against Lautoka on Saturday and will be suspended.
Revivors coach Steve Varegali said he had a replacement in mind and Michel Soksok looms as an option after he was given some game time from the bench against Lautoka.
The fans in Luganville came out in droves to the Luganville Soccer City Stadium to support the hometown Revivors and they will ride that wave of support against the Eels.
Captain Edwin Bai was replaced late in the game against Lautoka with a stomach complaint but Varegali expected him to start against Henderson.
'It's not really serious,' Varegali said. 'He'll be back on Tuesday.'
Eels coach Eddie Marahare wanted more from his team in the attacking area, despite scoring three goals in their first game.
'I think we need to work on our finishing,' he said.
They lost captain Boni Pride through injury in the opening minutes of their match against Lae but Marahare wasn't concerned about his health.
'I'm sure he'll be able to recover.'
Lautoka FC vs Lae City FC
Tuesday 18 February
Luganville Soccer City Stadium
Luganville, KO: 11:00
Click on link for the live stream: https://bit.ly/37tgeZ7
Referee: Sione MAU (ASA)
Assistant Referee 1: Sione TEU (TGA)
Assistant Referee 2: Malaetala SALANOA (SAM)
Fourth Official: Norbert HAUATA (TAH)
Fifth Official: Sione LELENGA (TGA)
Lautoka FC - 1. Liam ANDERSON, 2. Jack CAUNTER, 3. Zibraaz SAHIB, 4. Shazil ALI, 5. Poasa BAINIVALU, 7. Dave RADRIGAI, 8. Edward AARON, 9. Edward JUSTIN, 10. Navneel NAND, 11. Alex SANIEL, 13. Shivam NAIDU, 14. Shameel RAO, 15. Sekove FINAU, 17. Merrill NAND, 18. Arami MANUMANUBHAI, 21. Jason THOMAS, 23. Joela BIUVANUA, 24. Tevita RABAKEWA
Head Coach - Ananda SWAMY (Fiji)
Lae City FC - 1. Matheson NASA, 3. Valentine NELSON, 5. Mosie MILUBWA, 6. Troy GUNEMBA, 7. Raymond GUNEMBA, 9. Nigel DABINYABA, 10. Obert BIKA, 11. Joshua OSCAR, 14. Emmanuel SIMON, 15. Philip STEVEN, 16. Gustine VERGARA, 17. Jacob SABUA, 19. Abdias AGUIRRE, 20. Ronald WARISAN, 23. Emmanuel AIREM, 27. Thomas YAGUM, 29. Eddie Managu
Head Coach - Peter GUNEMBA (Papua New Guinea)
Malampa Revivors FC vs Henderson Eels
Tuesday 18 February
Luganville Soccer City Stadium
Luganville, KO: 15:00
Click on link for the live stream: https://bit.ly/38wFLC4
Referee: Antony RILEY (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: John PAREANGA (COK)
Assistant Referee 2: Edward COOK (NZL)
Fourth Official: Campbell-Kirk KAWANA-WAUGH (NZL)
Fifth Official: Philippe REVEL (TAH)
Malampa Revivors FC - 1. Julian MALNAIM, 2. Loic BOULET, 3. Tasso JEFFREY, 4. Jesse KALOPONG, 5. Lency PHILIP, 6. Armando RAVO, 7. Claude ARU, 8. Dondy KILETEIR, 9. Bethuel OLLIE, 10. Ismael EDWARD, 12. Michel SOKSOK, 13. Barry RAVO, 14. Samson WAMILY, 15. Peter MALERE, 16. Azariah SOROMON, 17. Edwin BAI, 30. Jimmy LUKAI
Head Coach - Steve VAREGALI (Vanuatu)
Henderson Eels - 1. Desmond TUTU, 2. Leon KOFANA, 3. Boni PRIDE, 4. Derick TAEBO, 5. Freddie KINI, 7. Timothy BAKALE, 8. Augustine TAGANA, 9. Hudson FELANI, 10. Tuti Zama TANITO, 11. Obed OFEA, 15. Joses NAWO, 16. Augustine WAITA, 17. Sedrick DOLIASI, 18. Rollence MISITANA, 19. Raphael LE'AI, 20. Kennedy WATEMAE, 23. Rodney SURI, 25. Zantas Kabini
Head Coach - Eddie MARAHARE (Solomon Islands)
To view the results, match schedule and latest news for the OFC Champions League 2020: Click Here