Solomon Warriors midfielder Jerry Donga can’t wait to take on AS Magenta on Saturday night, in a rematch of last’s years encounter between these two sides during the group stages of the OFC Champions League.
The stakes couldn’t be higher with Group C honours and the rights of hosting a home quarterfinal on offer for the winner at Noumea’s Stade Numa Daly.
At the same stage las year AS Magenta proved far too strong for the Warriors cruising past them 3-0 in Honiara, before going all the way to the tournament’s title decider.
Donga, who played in that defeat to the New Caledonians, says he is looking forward to the opportunity to make amends.
“It’s kind of a revenge, everybody is focussed and has a strong desire, we try to build up our strength to be at their level,” explained the 29-year old midfielder.
“When we played them back at home it was so physical and we need to match their physicality to beat them,” added the Solomon Islands international.
Both sides are already through to the next stage of the tournament, but with a home quarterfinal up for grabs the players will not lack motivation.
“It’s very important for us, we never hosted a knockout stage match back home, so we have to play to our best to win and take the quarterfinal back home,” insisted Donga.
Although the two teams will go into their Group C decider level on points and on identical goal difference, a draw will be enough for the New Caledonians to finish on top thanks to the greater number of goals they scored to defeat AS Tiare Tahiti in their opening match.
However, the Solomon Islands champions are confident they have what it takes to rise to the challenge.
“We are ready to go and the mood is really good in the camp, we are just looking to fix some of the mistakes we’ve made against Tiare,” said Donga.
The Solomon Warriors will meet AS Magenta on the third and final matchday of Group C on Saturday night from 7:00 pm local time at Noumea’s Stade Numa Daly in New Caledonia.
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