Vanuatu will be inspired to avoid the wooden spoon in order to secure their spot in the third stage of Oceania’s World Cup qualifying.
Fiji and Vanuatu open proceedings on the fifth day of competition at the 2016 OFC Nations Cup at Port Moresby’s Sir John Guise Stadium on Saturday 3 June.
Following their opening 3-1 defeat to New Zealand, Fiji showed plenty of heart and determination to overcome the Solomon Islands 1-0 in their second group encounter.
On the back of that hard- fought victory, Fiji will be feeling confident about their semi-final chances.
Led by captain Roy Krishna, Fiji have looked competitive and organised at both ends of the park in their previous two matches.
Coach Frank Farina will be hoping for another strong performance from his charges against a side which he believes will provide a stern challenge.
“We played them before about four months ago. They beat us once and we drew the other one but we are going to have to put to put on a performance that’s a bit better. I think it will be another difficult match.”
Vanuatu also have plenty to play for in their final group match.
With the top three teams of each group advancing to the third stage of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifying, Vanuatu are clinging to faint hopes of progression.
Coach Moses Poida knows it won’t be easy for his side which has so far failed to score a single goal while conceding six first half goals at the other end.
Not surprisingly Poida is particularly concerned by his side’s start to the match against Fiji.
“My worry is, can we defend Fiji in the first half? Or can we score? This is my big question mark. Are capable of having a good game in the first half? Second half no question.”
The Solomons will take on favourites New Zealand knowing that only a win could keep them alive in the competition.
Following two hard-fought matches which resulted in a 1-0 win over Vanuatu and a defeat by the same margin to Fiji, coach Moses Toata will be hoping for another determined performance from his men.
In both of their two previous matches the Solomons have looked dangerous going forward and created plenty of goalscoring opportunities but failed to finish.
Their one goal scored so far is a poor return for their efforts in the final third.
Toata is aware of the task ahead against the high flying All Whites but he believes his players are capable of an upset.
“I think New Zealand played differently in each match. They have a lot of good players in their team but then, so do we.”
New Zealand will go into their final round with a maximum six points and a healthy goal difference.
They will be without injured captain Chris Wood and coach Anthony Hudson has hinted of wholesale changes to rest some key players as well as to give an opportunity to the rest of the squad.
But the All Whites coach insists his side will still be determined to finish the group stage on a high.
“We are pleased to be in this position. We will be changing a lot of the players for this game but we going to put out a strong team,” he says.
“We basically prepared two team for this tournament and I’m confident that they can do the job. We respect the Solomons and we will have a strong side that will go for the win, we want to finish on top to maintain the momentum.”
The OFC would like to acknowledge its partners Telikom PNG, iRENA, and its supporters Dream Inn, Tru Tru Wara and NCDC – The City of Port Moresby.
Fiji vs. Vanuatu
Sir John Guise Stadium
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Saturday 4 June, 2016
Referee: Kader ZITOUNI (TAH)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertrand BRIAL (NCL)
Assistant Referee 2: John PAREANGA (COK)
Fourth Official: Médéric LACOUR (NCL)
The players: Captain Roy Krishna remains the key to his side’s chances. The-28-year-old Wellington Phoenix striker scored both of Fiji’s goals so far in the tournament. Coming in for the second game goalkeeper Benaminio Mateinaqara has also impressed with a string of crucial saves to keep the Solomon Islands scoreless.
The vital statistics: Frank Farina’s men scored a goal in each of their matches against New Zealand and the Solomons, courtesy of two Roy Krishna penalties, but they are yet to find the target from open play.
Coach quote: “Vanuatu don’t want to go away from the Nations Cup too easily. Unfortunately they suffered a big loss to New Zealand, but it will still be a difficult match for us.”
Squad list: 1. Simione TAMANISAU (GK), 2. Avinesh SUWAMY, 3. Remueru TEKIATE, 4. Jale DREOLA, 5. Rusiate MATAREREGA, 6. Nickel CHAND, 7. Pita BOLATOGA, 8. Setareki HUGHES, 9. Roy KRISHNA, 10. Iosefo VEREVOU, 11. Ilimotama JESE, 12. Tevita WARANAIVALU, 13. Ilisoni TUINAWAIVUVU, 14. Kolinio SIVOKI, 15. Samuela NABENIA, 16. Malakai TIWA, 17. Taione KEREVANUA, 18. Laisenia RAURA, 19. Amani MAKOE, 20. Shaneel NAIDU (GK), 21. Alvin SINGH, 22. Benaminio MATEINAGARA (GK), 23. Samuela KAUTOGA
Coach: Frank FARINA (AUS)
The players: Kensi Tangis and Bill Nicholls came the closest to scoring in both of Vanuatu’s games but both strikers will need to be more clinical in front of goal against Fiji.
The vital statistics: Vanuatu conceded six times so far in the tournament with all of those goals coming in the first half. At the other end they are yet to get off the mark despite amassing 30 attempts on goal in two matches.
Coach Quote:“Now our main objective is to beat Fiji and then go in into the World Cup qualifiers. That’s our main focus.“
Squad list:1. Seloni IARUEL (GK), 2. Brian KALTACK, 3. Kevin SHEM, 4. Jason THOMAS, 5. Jacques WANEMUT, 6. Ignace YAMACK, 7. Samuel KALOROS, 8. Remy KALSARAP, 9. Bill NICHOLLS, 10. Dominique FRED, 11. Raoul COULON, 12. Zicka MANUHI, 13. Nemani ROQARA, 14. Bong KALO, 15. Daniel NATOU, 16. Tony KALTACK 17. Jean KALTACK, 18. Fenedy MASAUVAKALO, 19. Kensi TANGIS, 20. Chikau MANSALE (GK), 21. Kaloran FIRIAM (GK), 22. Jacky RUBEN, 23. Don MANSALE
Coach: Moise POIDA (VAN)
New Zealand vs. Solomon Islands
Sir John Guise Stadium
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Saturday 4 June, 2016
Referee: Norbert HAUATA (TAH)
Assistant Referee 1: Philippe REVEL (TAH
Assistant Referee 2: Folio MOEAKI (TGA)
Fourth Official: Anio AMOS (PNG)
The players: In the absence of Chris Wood, Rory Fallon is one of the leading candidates to lead the side. The 34-year-old striker, who took the captains armband from the injured Wood against Fiji, was on target for the All Whites in both matches. The match against Fiji also saw the return of experienced trio Michael McGlinchey, Kosta Barbarouses and Marco Rojas who could all feature in Anthony Hudson’s revamped side against the Solomons.
The vital statistics: The All Whites had only had 40 per cent of possession against Vanuatu and they produced six less attempts on goal than their Melanesian rivals. However they converted five of their seven shots on target to underline their cutting edge in front of goal.
Coach Quote: “Solomons are a good team, they have some very good effective technical players, they play very similar to Auckland City with Ramon being there, so this is going to be tough game. They need to win and we are looking forward to it.”
Squad list: 1. Stefan MARINOVIC (GK), 2. Kip COLVEY, 3. Mat RIDENTON, I 4, Themistoklis TZIMOPOULOS, 5. Michael BOXALL, 6. Bill TUILOMA, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Michael McGLINCHEY, 9. Chris WOOD, 10. Luka PRELEVIC, 11. Marco ROJAS, 12. Max CROCOMBE (GK), 13. Monty PATTERSON, 14. Rory FALLON, 15. Jeremy BROCKIE, 16. Louis FENTON, 17. Luke ADAMS, 18. Sam BROTHERTON, 19. Thomas DOYLE, 20. Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, 21. Logan ROGERSON, 22, Moses DYER, 23. Tamati WILLIAMS (GK)
Coach: Anthony HUDSON (E
The players: Veteran striker Benjamin Totori once again looked dangerous going forward without being rewarded with a goal. The experienced 30-year-old will be looking to improve his link-up play and combination with Micah Lea’alafa and Jerry Donga.
The vital statistics:/b> In their two matches so far in the tournament the Solomons produced 27 attempts on goal and 10 on target for a return of just one goal. Moses Toata’s men will need to take their chances against New Zealand if they want to progress to the next stage.
Coach Quote: “First we must focus on ourselves, to work on our errors and mistakes, then worry about New Zealand.”
Squad list: 1. Phillip MANGO (GK), 2. Haddis AENGARI, 3. Bata FURAI, 4. Fred FAKARI, 5. Freddie KINI, 6. Allen PETER, 7. Dennis IFUNAOA, 8. Paul WALE, 9. Benjamin TOTORI, 10. Judd MOLEA, 11. Micah LEA’ALAFA, 12. Charlie OTAINAO, 13. James NAKA, 14. Moffat KILIFA, 15. Jerry DONGA, 16. Gagame FENI, 17. Nelson SALE, 18. Henry FA’ARODO, 19. Gibson DAUDAU, 20. Samson KOTI (GK), 22. Joses NAWO, 23. James DO’ORO (GK)
Coach: Moses TOATA (SOL)