Papua New Guinea’s preparations for Stage 3 of Oceania FIFA World Cup qualifying move up a gear in the November window with friendlies against Iran and Malaysia confirmed by the Papua New Guinea FA.

The Kapuls, who sit out the start of Stage 3 as Tahiti and Solomon Islands get Group B underway in their absence are not cooling their heels with the match against 27th ranked Iran especially set to give Flemming Serritslev’s side a tough benchmark of where they want to be when their World Cup qualifying campaign resumes in March.

Both friendlies will be played in Shah Alam, Malaysia with the OFC Nations Cup finalists facing Iran on November 11 and Malaysia on November 14.

PNG Men’s National team Head of Delegation, Joseph Ealedona hailed the match against Iran – Asia’s top ranked team – as “massive in football history for Papua New Guinea and a wonderful pathway for the PNG national team in preparations for the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 qualifiers.”

Ealedona expected a fair amount of curiosity from home fans after Papua New Guinea defeated Malaysia 2-0 in Port Moresby in June.

“We are mindful that Malaysia is seeking to settle their loss to PNG recently and also we expecting the Malaysian football supporters to come out to see who we are following our win and our performance at the recent OFC Nations Cup,” he said.

The Kapuls moved into camp today with young players Stahl Gubag and Kolu Kepo as well as New Zealand based Rodney Mobiha included in a squad comprised largely of players from the OFC Nations Cup campaign.

Papua New Guinea squad for Malaysia tour:
Ronald Warisan – LCD
Leslie Kalai – Hekari
Ismiel Pole – Hekari
Felix Komolong – Canterbury United, New Zealand
Roland Bala – POM
Philip Steven – Rapatona
Daniel Joe – Marist, Solomon Islands
Koriak Upaiga – Marist, Solomon Islands
Jacob Sabua – POM
Alwin Komolong – USA
Simon Emmanuel – Hekari
David Muta – Marist, Solomon Islands
Michael Foster – Malaita Kingz, Solomon Islands
Raymond Gunemba – Hamilton Wanderers, New Zealand
Nigel Dabinyaba – LCD
Patrick Aisa – Rapatona
Tommy Semmy – Marist, Solomon Islands
Rodney Mobiha – New Zealand
Stahl Gubag – Madang
Kolu Kepo – Kalo

Flemming Serritslev