With a ticket to the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar on offer, there is no extra motivation needed for Eastern Suburbs’ Martin Bueno, who has been in prolific goalscoring form during his side’s previous two matches in Group A of the OFC Champions League 2020 tournament in Port Moresby.
The 28-year old striker, who has both Italian and Uruguayan citizenships, says qualification for a big international FIFA event has always been one of his career goals.
“It would be really nice to play in the FIFA Club World Cup of course, that has been one of my dreams ever since I came to New Zealand to play,” he explained.
Bueno has been one of the outstanding players of the tournament so far, scoring all four of Eastern Suburbs’ goals, including a crucial injury-time equaliser against Galaxy FC to help his side staying on track for the knock-out stages.
“Of course as a striker it’s always nice to score goals, but I would prefer to score and win the game. At the end the draw was a great result for us after being 2-nil down,” said the in-form striker following his double against the Vanuatu champions on Wednesday.
Thanks two another brace by Bueno in Eastern Suburbs’ 2-1 victory over hosts Hekari United on the opening day, the Auckland based club will go into Saturday’s match against defending champions Hienghene Sport knowing that a draw would be enough to secure their passage to the next phase of the competition.
However, Tony Readings’ troops are well aware of the danger posed by the New Caledonians, who will be desperate for a win in order the keep their title defence alive.
“For us every single game is a final,” said Bueno.
“This was one of our dreams to play here and try to win this tournament, but of course the first step is qualification to the next stage. First we have to concentrate on the next game which we will try win and then see what happens,” he added.
“We are confident, but I must admit it has been very hard for us to get used to this weather. It’s so hot and the humidity is so high here. It’s hard to run but it’s getting a bit better game by game, and I’m looking forward to the next game, especially if I can breath normally,” laughed the Eastern Suburbs marksman.
But regardless of the outcome on Staurday, Bueno is adamant the OFC Champions League has already provided him with an unforgettable experience.
“It’s been a fantastic for me and for us, the people here looked after us very well, an amazing country and the people are so kind everywhere, so I’ve been really enjoying it so far,” added the Eastern Suburbs forward.
Vanuatu’s Galaxy FC and Eastern Suburbs are tied on four points and will qualify for the quarter finals if they avoid defeat on Saturday.
Meanwhile, since goal difference could still be a decisive factor, hosts Hekari and defending champions Hienghene Sport will be both searching for big wins in their quest to grab one of the two qualifying spots up for grabs in Group A.
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