AS Magenta striker Kevin Nemia is primed for another big performance when his side face Group C rivals Solomon Warriors in their crucial top of the table OFC Champions League clash on Saturday night at Noumea’s Stade Numa Daly.
The 30-year old New Caledonian international scored two of Magenta three goals in their thrilling opening match against AS Tiare Tahiti to help securing qualification to the knockout stages of the competition.
“For sure it felt great to score those goals, but the victory was more important and meant more to me,” Nemia said.
“It was a crucial match, our first in this year’s Champions League tournament and fortunately the result means we are already through to the next stage,” added the Magenta striker.
After safely negotiating their passage to the final eight of the competition the hosts are now looking to finish on top of the group to secure a home quarterfinal.
A draw against the Warriors will be enough for the New Caledonians to take Group C honours, but Nemia is expecting a stern challenge from their Solomon Islands rivals.
“It will be a very difficult match and I hope we ‘ll be happy at the end of it,” he said.
“It is very important for us to host the quarterfinal in order to play in front of our own fans, but also to ensure that we have a full squad for our next match because if we need to travel some of our players might not be available due to work commitments”, explained Nemia.
These two sides last met 12 months ago during the same stage of the competition in Honiara with Magenta winning 3-0 before advancing to the title decider which they narrowly lost to fellow New Caledonian outfit Hienghene Sport.
Nemia is hoping a victory on Saturday night will be a stepping stone on the road towards another OFC Champions League final.
“To go all the way is every player’s dream but we have to forget about last year and focus on one game at a time,” the Magenta forward striker insisted.
AS Magenta will face the Solomon Warriors 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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