Don’t write off Lupe Ole Soaga SC just yet.
Lupe, who won their spot in Group D of the OFC Champions League 2020 via the Qualifying Stage in January, still believe they can make waves in the competition, despite suffering a 6-0 defeat to AS Venus in their opening game on Sunday.
The Samoan club will meet Fiji’s Ba FC in their second pool game in Tahiti at 5pm on Wednesday (TAH time) in a do-or-die fixture.
“We are not really giving up after the first loss. We are still fighting,” Lupe coach Paul Ualesi said.
Lupe had a couple of chances in the opening spell of the loss to Venus and had they taken those, things might have been different.
“We need to work as a team, we need to polish up [our] defence as well,” Ualesi said.
“We need some good finishing as well.”
Ba lost 6-0 to Auckland City on Sunday and coach Ricki Herbert said his side would be pushing hard for three points against Lupe as they look to stay alive in the tournament.
“I said to the boys, I don’t want to come here and kind of sit back and hope and guess and sort of wonder,” Herbert said.
“So we’ll just be a very positive side, we’ll go forward, we’ll attack as much as we can.”
With the likes of Solomon Islands international Benjamin Totori on the roster, Ba have what it takes to produce goals and would probably prefer dry conditions compared to the rain the teams dealt with on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Auckland City FC are hunting for a home quarter-final as they eye their next match.
The competition stalwarts know playing at home in the knockout stages would provide them with the ideal platform to move towards another title.
The Navy Blues will play AS Venus in the 8pm fixture on Wednesday and Auckland City coach Jose Figueira said he may look to rotate his squad following their win over Ba.
“It’s a good position to be in leading into the second game,” Figueira said.
“In the next game we want a bigger performance, we want more quality, we want more application and the feeling’s good.”
Their attacking weapons like Emiliano Tade and Logan Rogerson looked dangerous in their first match, while midfielder Cameron Howieson was busy on the ball.
A win over Venus would put Auckland City in the box seat to claim home advantage for the next stage. The top two teams from each pool advance to the knockout rounds with the top qualifier hosting a quarter-final.
There’s been some wild weather in Tahiti during the past few days but Wednesday’s matches are set to be played at Stade Mahina, the home ground of AS Venus.
Stade Pater was used on Sunday as the surface was in better order but a return to their regular stomping ground should put Venus in a good frame of mind for what looks to be a tough game.
Venus coach Sam Garcia was pleased with his team’s big win over Lupe but said he would need his team to lift against Auckland City.
“We need to be more precise, we need to keep possession so we avoid running,” he said.
“If you win the ball and then give it to your opponent you run, and when you play against Auckland City, if you lose the ball you run even more.”
Both sides showed they have plenty of goals in them during their first games so it should be a high-octane encounter.
Lupe Ole Soaga SC vs Ba FC
Wednesday, 4 March
Tahiti, KO: 17:00
Click on link for the live stream: http://bit.ly/3883rM2
Referee: Hamilton SIAU (SOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jeremy GARAE (VAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Marc SINYEUE (NCL)
Fourth Official: Joel HOPKEN (VAN)
Fifth Official: Mederic LACOUR (NCL)
Lupe Ole Soaga SC – 2. Albert BELL, 3. Suivai ATAGA, 4. Ritchievoy UELIGITONE, 5. Tauati TANOAI, 6. Andrew SETEFANO, 7. Jamie MASON, 8. Arona MATAU, 9. Vaa TAUALAI, 10. Jarvis FILIMALAE, 11. Tomas MOSQUERA, 12. John TEO, 13. Bitner TAFILI, 14. Osa SAVELIO, 15. Ronnie BOURNE, 16. Soliai LETUTUSA, 17. Isaako SIONE, 20. Zane GREEN
Head Coach – Paul UALESI (Samoa)
Ba FC – 1. Beniamino MATEINAQARA, 4. Manasa NAWAKULA, 6. Simione NABENU, 7. Micah TOMMY, 8. Darold KAKASI, 9. Abbu ZAHID, 10. Savenaca NAKALEVU, 11. Ilimotama JESE, 14. Samuela DRUDRU, 15. Saula WAQA, 16. Malakai TIWA, 17. Benjamin TOTORI, 18. Laisenia NAIOKO, 19. Sanaila WAQANICAKAU, 20. Sumeet GOUNDAR, 21. Atunaisa NAUCUKIDI, 22. Misiwani NAIRUBE
Head Coach – Ricki HERBERT (New Zealand)
AS Venus vs Auckland City FC
Wednesday, 4 March
Tahiti, KO: 20:00
Click on link for the live stream: http://bit.ly/2T2As8i
Referee: David YAREBOINEN (PNG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen SENIGA (SOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Johnny NIABO (SOL)
Fourth Official: George TIME (SOL)
Fifth Official: Bertrand BRIAL (NCL)
AS Venus – 1. Teave TEAMOTUAITAU, 3. Kevin BARBE, 4. Jean-Claude PARAUE, 5. Hauragi HURI, 6. Tefai FAEHAU, 7. Marama AMAU, 8. Pothin POMA, 9. Tauhiti KECK, 10. Teaonui TEHAU, 11. Yann PENNEQUIN-LE-BRAS, 12. Mauarii TEHINA, 13. Stanley ATANI, 15. Ariiura LABASTE, 16. Etienne TAVE, 17. Tamatoa TETAUIRA, 19. Tehotu GITTON, 20. Kitin MARO, 22. Tevaearai TAMATAI
Head Coach – Samuel GARCIA (Tahiti)
Auckland City FC – 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Mario BILEN, 5. Angel BERLANGA, 6. Brian KALTACK, 7. Cameron HOWIESON, 8. Albert RIERA, 9. Myer BEVAN, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 11. Tom DOYLE, 13. Emiliano TADE, 14. Jordan VALE, 17. Andrew BLAKE, 18. Conor TRACEY, 20. Logan ROGERSON, 22. Clayton LEWIS, 23. Alfie ROGERS, 24. Cameron BROWN
Head Coach – Jose FIGUEIRA (England)
To view the results, match schedule and latest news for the OFC Champions League 2020: Click Here