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Quarter-final spots up for grabs in Group B

Henderson Eels goalkeeper Desmond Tutu has been busy during Group B of the OFC Champions League 2020. Photo Credit: OFC Media

All four teams from Group B have a chance to move on to the knockout stages of the OFC Champions League 2020 if the right results fall their way in the final round of matches in Luganville on Friday.

Group B has produced a handful of draws in the opening fixtures, which has left the points table rather congested.

The Henderson Eels from the Solomon Islands will meet Lautoka FC in the opening game of the day in a match that looms as a do-or-die outing for Lautoka.

Henderson could go through with a draw and the right result from the clash between the Malampa Revivors and Lae City FC later in the day but Fiji’s Lautoka are in must-win territory.

Lautoka assistant coach Avinesh Prakash expected his team to bounce back from their 7-0 hammering at the hands of Lae City on Tuesday.

“We will come back strong in the next game,” he said.

“We really need to work hard, our boys really need to pull up their socks and they really need to press hard.”

Henderson will be without captain Boni Pride due to a hamstring injury and the loss of the defender has posed a problem for Eels coach Eddie Marahare.

He will have to juggle his backline for Friday’s game and the Eels need to stop the leaks at the back having conceded five goals in their opening two drawn fixtures.

“In terms of qualification for the quarter-final stage, we still have a chance to try in our final game,” Marahare said.

“We’ve made things hard for ourselves and we have to go for it in the final game against Lautoka. It will not be an easy game but we’ll look to go for maximum points to qualify for the quarter-finals.”

Henderson have been a constant threat in front of goal with Joses Nawo and Raphael Le’ai causing problems for opposition defences.

In game two, Lae City hold their fate in their own hands. If the Papua New Guineans win, they will finish at the top of Group B, while a draw would also see them advance.

Lae City manager John Golupau said his side were ready to claim a spot in the next round.

“Our aim coming here for Group B of the Champions League is to make it to the quarter-finals,” he said.

“In this case, we want to be top of the pool and bring the quarter-finals back home; so that’s what our aim is.”

Lae made a bunch of changes for their romp over Lautoka and they may tweak their starting line-up again for the meeting with Malampa.

The hometown Malampa Revivors will likely need a win if they want to advance to the knockout stages and they will have a massive home crowd in attendance at the Luganville Soccer City Stadium given Friday is a public holiday in Vanuatu.

The Revivors, who have drawn their first two matches, will regain the services of Vanuatu international Andre Batick from suspension, which filled Malampa coach Steve Varegali with confidence.

“We have a great chance for this coming Friday because one of our fastest strikers will be back,” Varegali said.

“We believe that we will win this game.”

Additional Information

Henderson Eels vs Lautoka FC
Friday 21 February
Luganville Soccer City Stadium
Luganville, KO: 11:00
#OFCCL #HENLAU

Click on link for the live stream: https://bit.ly/39ZoodJ

Match Officials

Referee: Sione LELENGA (TGA)
Assistant Referee 1: Sione TEU (TGA)
Assistant Referee 2: Malaetala SALANOA (SAM)
Fourth Official: Antony RILEY (NZL)
Fifth Official: Edward COOK (NZL)

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 – 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, 23. Joela BIUVANUA, 24. Tevita RABAKEWA
Head Coach – Ananda SWAMY (Fiji)

Malampa Revivors FC vs Lae City FC
Friday 21 February
Luganville Soccer City Stadium
Luganville, KO: 15:00
#OFCCL #MALLAE

Click on link for the live stream: https://bit.ly/3bQMlFJ

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: Campbell-Kirk KAWANA-WAUGH (NZL)

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, 30. Jimmy LUKAI
Head Coach – Steve VAREGALI (Vanuatu)

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. Gustine VERGARA, 17. Jacob SABUA, 19. Abdias AGUIRRE, 20. Ronald WARISAN, 23. Emmanuel AIREM, 27. Thomas YAGUM, 29. Eddie Managu
Head Coach – Peter GUNEMBA (Papua New Guinea)

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

Ends

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