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Crucial Group B matchups in Lautoka

Photo Credit: OFC Media VIA Phototek

Two crucial matches are set for Group B of the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier 2019 at Churchill Park in Lautoka on Wednesday 25 September as Vanuatu takes on Tonga while hosts Fiji clashes with Papua New Guinea. 

Vanuatu will be gunning to continue their winning form in the competition after their opening win on match-day one against Papua New Guinea.

With a vast experience bunch of players, a win for Vanuatu will all but cement a place in the semi-finals next week.

Vanuatu coach Etienne Mermer said his team has a lot of respect for Tonga but they are heading into the match with a positive attitude to grab maximum points.

“After winning our first three points we are looking forward to the next match against Tonga,” he said.

“We make sure we prepare well, we don’t want to look down on any team because I know physical there some teams that are stronger than us.

“We will not underestimate Tonga, we just need to put our heads up and keep working on how we want to play. In the end, we want to get another three points.”

Tonga coach Timote Moleni said his team has taken many positives from the defeat to Fiji on Sunday.

Moleni cited that Tonga needs to strengthen their defending as Vanuatu poses an attacking unit.

“We will be focusing on our defensive side because I know Vanuatu is soccer nation,” he said.

“But for me and my boys, we are prepared for the next game against Vanuatu.

“I tried had to address our weaknesses and try to find a solution to tackle the problem.”

Fiji was wasteful in front of goal against Tonga despite getting the win on the opening match-day.

The defending champions were eager to continue the winning run against Papua New Guinea.

Fiji coach Marika Rodu said he has a game plan to take on their Melanesian rivals.            

“We are glad to win the first match and we would like to maintain the momentum going to the next match,” Rodu said.

“We will reflect on the game that is before us, will watch the videos and see the game of Papua New Guinea trying to see if we can some areas we can penetrate, counter and get some opportunities to score at the same time see their strength and see if we can stiffen up our defense where ever its needed.

“Just watching the way they play, offensively they created some good moves but I have seen some areas where we can penetrate in terms of defense and again our rhythm will matter on that day.”

Papua New Guinea will take a lot of encouragement from their display in the second half against Vanuatu.

It is a must-win for Papua New Guinea to keep their hopes alive in the competition.

Papua New Guinea coach Percy Mataio said they have taken a lot of positives from the defeat to Vanuatu heading into the clash with the hosts.

“I believe given what we did in the first match, we can only we can improve and come back strong for the second game,” he said.

“They are strong and aggressive in their attack and defensively as well so we are mindful of that and our advantages are we’ve got our advantages on our side we will try to use our advantages as much as possible.”

Additional Information

Tonga vs. Vanuatu
Wednesday 25 September
Churchill Park
Lautoka, FIJI KO: 12:00

Click on link for the live stream: http://bit.ly/2l4aFhW

Match Officials
Referee: George TIME (SOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertrand BRIAL (NCL)
Assistant Referee 2: Bernard MUTUKERA (SOL)
Fourth Official: Sivakorn PU-UDOM (THA)

TONGA – 1. Mahe MALAFU (GK) 2. Tevita VAKATAPU, 3. Nicolas VEA, 4. Kelepi MATAELE, 5. Opesi TU’IFANGALOKA, 6. William SENITULI, 7. Sione TUIFANGALOKA, 8. Soakai VEA, 9. Rick TAULA, 10. Laulea TAUFA, 11. Hemaloto POLOVILI, 12. Mohammad RAJANI, 13. Amanaki LAUI, 14. Sitaleki FISI, 15. Pita HUNI, 16. Pesamino TOMASI, 17. Valeiaatu FILI, 18. Polutele TAVITE (GK)
Head Coach: Timote MOLENI (TGA)

VANUATU – 1. Daniel ALICK (GK), 2. Jesse KALOPONG, 3. Waiwo KALMET, 4. Jason THOMAS, 5. Joseph IARUEL, 6. Tasso JEFFREY, 7. Jordy TASIP, 8. Claude ARU, 9. Johnathan SPOKEYJACK, 10. Bong KALO, 11. Azariah SOROMON, 12. Lency Philip, 13. Selwyn VATU, 14. Mole MANSALE, 15. Armando RAVO, 16. Ronaldo WILKINS, 17. Bethuel OLLIE, 18. Jasson TARI, 19. James CHILIA (GK), 20. Joshua WILLIE (GK)
Head Coach: Etienne MERMER (VAN)


Fiji vs Papua New Guinea

Sunday 22 September
Churchill Park
Suva, Fiji KO: 15:00

Click on link for the live stream: http://bit.ly/2mmklUU

Match Officials
Referee: Nick WALDRON (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark RULE (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe REVEL (TAH)
Fourth Official: Campbell-Kirk KAWANA-WAUGH (NZL)

FIJI – 1. Atunaisa NAUCUKIDI (GK) 2. Shivam NAIDU 3. Jovilisi BORISI (GK) 4. Afraz ALI 5. Ivan KUMAR 6. Zainal ALI 7. Rajniel CHAND  8. Joeli RANITU 9. Mohammed SHAH 10. Bruce HUGHES 11. Tito VODOWAQA 12. Kishan SAMI 13. Savenaca BALEDROKADROKA 14. Akeimi RALULU 15. Arami MANUMANUBAI 16. Sekove FINAU 17. Patrick JOSEPH 18.Scott WARA 19.Peni TUIGULAGULA 20.Mohammed ALAM (GK)

Head Coach: Marika RODU (FIJ)

PAPUA NEW GUINEA – 1. Jordan TOBEM (GK), 2. Peter DABINYABA JR, 3. Carlos ONNE, 4. Gimale ESSACU, 5. Rupa EMIL, 6. Timothy MALI, 7. Gregory TOGUBAI, 8. Freddy KEPO, 9. Pokana MEA , 10. Frank TOBOROYAN, 11. Bernard PURARI, 12. Emmanuel SIMONGI, 13. Joseph WAIWAI, 14. Gabby YANUM, 15. Yagi YASASA, 16. Tyran VAPARA, 17. Edward JOSHUA, 18. Jonathan POLE (GK), 19. Ernest GWAITEP, 20. Jerry SERIBA (GK)

Head Coach: Percy MATAIO (PNG)


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