With Kiwi FC and Tupapa Maraerenga FC both enjoying big victories on the opening day of play, a victory against their fellow ladder leader would go a long way to ensuring they qualify through to the group stages of the 2016 OFC Champions League in New Zealand.
For Tupapa coach Delaney Yaqona keeping his side grounded will be a major focus in the build-up.
“That’s always a difficult one, but I think we are a level-headed team and are humble enough to get ourselves ready for the next game,” Yaqona says.
“I think the biggest issue for us is that while we controlled the game against Veitongo we expect Kiwi to be different and really press us, so we need to be able to do what we did but a lot quicker and smarter.”
Kiwi were slow to start against Utulei Youth, but once they found their way into the game were able to control possession and create a number of chances.
Much like Tupapa they have plenty of talent on the flanks, and love to deliver early ball that way.
Coach Martin Tamasese says fatigue set in on Match Day 1 during the game, and that they will be taking steps to try and address it.
“We will be letting the boys relax and recover after a tough game, and then from there it’s just about preparing for what we will face,’ Tamasese says.
“You could see our formation on Match Day 1 made a few people tired, so we will work on adapting our style and figuring out how to attack Tupapa.”
The later game sees Utulei Youth and Veitongo meet in a match where a loss for either side will end their competition.
Both sides struggled to match the pace of their opposition on the opening day, but will view this game as an opportunity to play their style and make a statement.
Utulei looked good in patches against Kiwi, enjoying small pockets of domination but ultimately weren’t able to string it together on a consistent basis.
Coach Ututoa Ino wants to see his side complete their tasks with more efficiency.
“Our execution is what we had trouble with, we will try to do the things we are already doing a bit better,” Ino says.
“We will change a few things, try and add some more constructive play, but it will pretty much be the same for the next opponent.”
In the 7-0 loss to Tupapa Veitongo struggled to gain any hold on the match, giving up two early penalties and only forcing a handful of saves from the opposing keeper.
While acknowledging his side’s defensive shortcomings, Veitongo coach Tuia Falepapalangi says it’s in attack that he wants to see improvement.
“We need to work specifically on our finishing, it’s really hard to get goals in this tournament so for our next game we will work hard on that,” Falepapalangi says.
“Hopefully we can be better in a few different areas and turn things around.”
Additional Information:
Utulei Youth FC vs. Veitongo FC
CIFA Academy
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Thursday 28 January 2016
Kick-off: 2.30pm (local)
Referee: Robinson BANGA (VAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Himon SESE (VAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Sarah Walker (NZL)
Fourth Official: Avereii JACQUES (TAH)
Utulei Youth FC
Vital Statistics:
Utulei scored the second-fastest goal of the tournament when Paul Collins netted on eight minutes. Only Tupapa striker Jared Colligan’s penalty in minute seven came earlier in the match.
The Players: Midfielder Kaleopa Siligi was one of Utulei’s best on Match Day 1, looking likely when he got touches on the ball out wide. In the net Jonathan Faavae anticipates play well and will put his body on the line.
Utulei Youth FC: 1. Jonathan FAAVAE (GK), 2. Neemia KALEOPA, 3. Palauni TAPUSOA. 4. Gun KANG, 5. Pita SINAPATI, 6. Kaleopa SILIGI, 7. Ryan SAMUELU, 8. Malu FAAVAE, 9. Kome TOMASI, 10. Elama FAATONU, 11. Tala FAALAVAAU, 12. Ueli TUALAULELEI, 13. Peter HARRINGTON (GK), 14. Tea SIATUU, 15. Pesamino VICTOR, 16. Paul COLLINS, 17. Iopu KALEOPA
Coach: Ututoa INO (ASA)
Veitongo FC
Vital Statistics:
Veitongo were the only team on Match Day 1 who failed to score a goal.
The Players: Sione Uhatahi gave his best in a losing team first-up, combining tough tackling with some quality reading of the game. Further up front experienced Tonga national team player Lafaele Moala looked to be Veitongo’s best attacking weapon.
Veitongo FC: 1. Brady LAUTI (GK), 2. Sione UHATAHI, 3. Fakamalinga SEMISI, 4. Oliveti VAI, 6. Ilalio LEAKONA, 7. Inoke VAIHU, 5. Sosefo LELEA, 8. Kamalie PAPANI, 9. Lafaele MOALA, 10. Tupou UHATAHI, 11. Hemaloto POLOVILI, 12. Hatana PAONGO, 13. Soane FAUPULA, 14. Halapua FALEPAPALANGI, 15. Viliami TONGAMANA, 16. Anthony LIKILIKI, 17. Silakivai MAILE 18. Siosaia FAUPULA, 19. Kilifi UELE, 20. Sinilau TAUFA (GK)
Tupapa Maraerenga FC vs. Kiwi FC
CIFA Academy
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Thursday 28 January 2016
Kick-off: 5pm (local)
Referee: Nelson SOGO (SOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Whitehead (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jeffrey SOLODIA (SOL)
Fourth Official: Anna-Marie KEIGHLEY (NZL)
Tupapa Maraerenga FC
Vital Statistics:
Tupapa have the best numbers in the competition in attack and defence after Match Day 1. The local side recorded the only clean sheet of the day and also racked up seven goals of their own.
The Players: Jared Colligan is a sharp-shooter up front who comes off a four-goal showing against Veitongo. On the left flank Harlem Simiona combines sheer pace with a great work ethic, creating plenty of chances for Tupapa.
Tupapa Maraerenga FC: 1. Sacha NATHU (GK), 2. Mii JOSEPH, 3. Ben HUNT, 4. Anthony SAMUELA, 5. John KARIKA, 6. Twin TIRO, 7. Grover HARMON, 8. Rhys RUKA, 9. Paavo MUSTONEN, 10. Campbell BEST, 11. Jared COLLIGAN, 12. Harlem SIMIONA, 13. Edward BROGAN, 14. Zahid ALI, 15. Sunai JOSEPH 16. Ishak MOHAMMED, 17. Edmond OKIRUA, 18. Mel MATAKANO, 19. James NAND, 20. Murray WILSON (GK)
Coach: Delaney Yaqona (FIJ)
Kiwi FC
Vital Statistics:
Kiwi picked up the most yellow cards of any team on Match Day 1, with three players cautioned for challenges in their victory over Utulei.
The Players: Mike Saofaiga caused plenty of trouble at wide when he got the ball at feet, and his ability to beat a marker with footwork is a huge advantage for Kiwi. In the middle Martin Packer has plenty of classy touches and is a threat on goal.
Kiwi FC: 1. James McPEAKE (GK), 3. James SUTCLIFFE, 4. Jarrell SALE, 5. Lewis FRANCIS, 6. Lafi IOANE, 7. Martin PACKER, 8. Tamoto FENIKA, 9. Barry LEWIS, 10. Jamie MASON, 11. Sam BLACKBURN, 12. Mike SAOFAIGA, 13. Lionel TAYLOR, 14. Albert BELL, 15. Tomas MOSQUERA, 16. Penitito TUMUA, 17. Charles BELL, 18. Benson HUNT, 21. Ethan TLISAIA (GK)
Coach: Martin TAMASESE (SAM)