By the time the Malampa Revivors FC take the field for their OFC Champions League Group B clash with Lautoka FC in Luganville, Vanuatu on Saturday the venue should be packed.

More than 5,000 people are expected at Luganville Soccer City Stadium as they make their debut as an OFC Champions League host.

Malampa will play the second match of the day with Papua New Guinea’s Lae City FC meeting Solomon Islands club the Henderson Eels in the earlier fixture.

The hometown Revivors have never made the quarter-finals of the OFC Champions League and Group B looks to be a tough pool to advance from.

Malampa coach Steve Varegali said his team was ready to perform in front of their fans.

“They must do their best in order to achieve our objective,” he said.

“Our players have prepared really well. They are ready for these three games in front of us.”

Lautoka were Champions League finalists in 2018 when they were defeated by New Zealand’s Team Wellington, but they failed to advance from their group last year.

With a renewed focus and some player turnover, Lautoka will be ready to perform in the group.

They’ve recruited goalkeeper Liam Anderson and defender Jack Caunter from New Zealand clubs, which should add some solidarity at the back.

Caunter played for Lautoka in the last Pacific Cup and coach Ananda Swamy said he proved a valuable addition.

“He fitted into the system and combined well with the Fijian boys, which was quite good,” Swamy said.

Lautoka will look to play a possession-based game, Swamy said, and he had high expectations for his side.

“We should be able to put up a good performance.”

Lae City have made the quarter-finals of the Champions League in the past two editions and coach Peter Gunemba said that experience would serve them well for this season.

“We have learned so many things from the previous two years and we know we have some strengths, we have some weaknesses,” Gunemba said.

“We are taking it one game at a time so we will see how we will go.”

They have experienced captain Raymond Gunemba to rely on for goals while the pace of Obert Bika on the wing will be a danger for their opponents.

Lae expect to play at pace and their finishing prowess is one of their best traits.

Meanwhile, the Henderson Eels arrived in Vanuatu with a powerful squad, including exciting youngsters Raphael Le’ai and Leon Kafana.

Eels coach Eddie Marahare said their goal was to top the group to earn a home quarter-final.

“It’s not an easy pool,” Marahare said. “Look at the teams and we know that we have to work really hard to be among the top two.

“I’ve got an abundance of experienced players and young players as well, and I think I have a stronger team than last season.”


Additional Information

Lae City FC vs Henderson Eels
Saturday 15 February
Luganville Soccer City Stadium
Luganville, KO: 11:00

Click on link for the live stream:

Match Officials

Referee: Norbert HAUATA (TAH)
Assistant Referee 1: Philippe REVEL (TAH)
Assistant Referee 2: John PAREANGA (COK)
Fourth Official: Sione MAU (ASA)
Fifth Official: Malaetala SALANOA (SAM)

Lae City FC  – 1. Matheson NASA, 3. Valentine NELSON, 5. Mosie MILUBWA, 6. Troy GUNEMBA, 7. Raymond GUNEMBA, 9. Nigel DABINYABA, 10. Obert BIKA, 11. Joshua OSCAR, 14. Emmanuel SIMON, 15. Philip STEVEN, 16. Abdias AGUIRRE, 17. Jacob SABUA, 19. Gustine VERGARA, 20. Ronald WARISAN, 23. Emmanuel AIREM, 27. Thomas YAGUM, 29. Eddie Managu
Head Coach – Peter GUNEMBA (Papua New Guinea)

Henderson Eels – 1. Desmond TUTU, 2. Leon KOFANA, 3. Boni PRIDE, 4. Derick TAEBO, 5. Freddie KINI, 7. Timothy BAKALE, 8. Augustine TAGANA, 9. Hudson FELANI, 10. Tuti Zama TANITO, 11. Obed OFEA, 15. Joses NAWO, 16. Augustine WAITA, 17. Sedrick DOLIASI, 18. Rollence MISITANA, 19. Raphael LE’AI, 20. Kennedy WATEMAE, 23. Rodney SURI, 25. Zantas Kabini
Head Coach – Eddie MARAHARE (Solomon Islands)

Lautoka FC vs Malampa Revivors FC
Saturday 15 February
Luganville Soccer City Stadium
Luganville, KO: 15:00

Click on link for the live stream:

Match Officials

Referee: Campbell-Kirk KAWANA-WAUGH (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Edward COOK (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Sione TEU (TGA)
Fourth Official: Antony RILEY (NZL)
Fifth Official: Sione LELENGA (TGA)

Lautoka FC – 1. Liam ANDERSON, 2. Jack CAUNTER, 3. Zibraaz SAHIB, 4. Shazil ALI, 5. Poasa BAINIVALU, 7. Dave RADRIGAI, 8. Edward AARON, 9. Edward JUSTIN, 10. Navneel NAND, 11. Alex SANIEL, 13. Shivam NAIDU, 14. Shameel RAO, 15. Sekove FINAU, 17. Merrill NAND, 18. Arami MANUMANUBHAI, 21. Jason THOMAS, 22. Joela BIUVANUA, 24. Tevita RABAKEWA
Head Coach – Ananda SWAMY (Fiji)

Malampa Revivors FC – 1. Julian MALNAIM, 2. Loic BOULET, 3. Tasso JEFFREY, 4. Jesse KALOPONG, 5. Lency PHILIP, 6. Armando RAVO, 7. Claude ARU, 8. Dondy KILETEIR, 9. Bethuel OLLIE, 10. Ismael EDWARD, 11. Andre BATICK, 12. Michel SOKSOK, 13. Barry RAVO, 14. Samson WAMILY, 15. Peter MALERE, 16. Azariah SOROMON, 17. Edwin BAI, 18. Jimmy LUKAI
Head Coach – Steve VAREGALI (Vanuatu)

To view the results, match schedule and latest news for the OFC Champions League 2020: Click Here