The impact of tomorrow’s two Group A encounters could have a significant impact on the final outcome of the group as both Madang and Lupe Ole Soaga chase first points, while Magenta and Central Sport are hoping to knock the other out of contention.
Madang started strong in their opening encounter scoring the opening goal and putting the Tahitians on the back foot.
However by the second half their structure had fallen by the way-side, which losing key player Jacob Sabua didn’t help, and Central were able to take advantage.
Coach Francis Moyap pinpointed structure as an aspect where improvements can be made.
“I think in terms of what we can improve on in the future – our shape is a priority,” he said.
“We will focus on getting back into our structure of play and we’re looking forward to the next match.
“Samoa is a good team, they held New Caledonia to 2-1 so they will be a good challenge.”
Although Lupe Ole Soaga surprised many with their ability to hold hosts Magenta to just a 2-1 win, coach Paul Ualesi doesn’t expect things to get any easier for his side as they progress through the competition.
“For us, we take all games as really tough opponents,” he said.
“Our last match was tough but we can’t really think about what the score of previous games were.
“All we can do is focus on ourselves and what we can do to improve for our next opponent.”
While Madang and Lupe are hoping to get their first points on the board, it’s a different story for Magenta and Central who are both hoping tomorrow’s game will see them take a clear lead on the table.
Central coach Cyril Klosek said despite the importance of the encounter, the focus for his side is on how they can improve with each performance.
“We made some errors and conceded these two penalties which resulted in goals for our opponent in the previous match,” he said.
“While it is a significant match against Magenta, we will approach it in a similar fashion as any of our three matches here. We have as much respect for Magenta as we do Madang, or Lupe Ole Soaga.”
Central were given a scare by the Papua New Guinea side which highlighted some areas of weakness in the backline.
Klosek believes having had a couple of days to focus on those aspects in need of improvement as well as time to recover from a physical match, they’ll be ready to face Magenta.
“We think we will be ready, and we’ll certainly be doing our best to get the victory.”
The hosts are equally aware of where lapses in their performance appeared during Saturday’s opening match against Lupe Ole Soaga.
“It’s a very short competition with three matches to be played and you have to win every single game if you want to continue on,” Alain Moizan said.
“Things we need to work on for the next match are finishing for a start. We also need to be more aggressive when trying to win the ball back – especially against Central.
“We had plenty of opportunities against Lupe, our opponent wasn’t the problem but our ineffectiveness in front of goal was.”
Lupe Ole Soaga [SAM] vs. Madang FC [PNG]
Stade Numa Daly
Noumea, New Caledonia
Tuesday 28 February
Lupe Ole Soaga
Vital Statistics: Lupe Ole Soaga have never played a Papua New Guinea side in the OFC Champions League before.
The Players: Lapalapa Toni will make his return to action after serving a suspension earned during the qualifier. Samuel Malo was impressive in the opener defending well but also driving forward when the opportunity arose.
Coach Quote: “We’re eager to do our best for the second match. We’re not here to make up the numbers, we’re here to win as well.”
Lupe Ole Soaga: 1. Faalavelave MATAGI (GK), 2. Vaalii FAALOGO, 3. Spencer KELI, 4. Vaa TAUALAI, 5. Vito LALOATA, 6. Darren ALATINA TALILAI, 7. Lawrie LETUTUSA, 8. Samuel MALO, 9. Suivai ATAGA, 10. Lapalapa TONI, 11. Tim HUNT, 12. Suepasi PELESA, 13. John TEO, 14. Michael FIFI’I, 15. Faafua ATAGA LALOATA, 16. Cherbel KHOUCHABA, 17. Kareti SOAFA, 18. Jack KEMP (GK), 19. Bird VAGAIA, 20. Reasat ISLAM
Coach: Paul UALESI [SAM]
Vital Statistics: Madang scored one goal from open play so far with their two other goals coming from penalties.
The Players: Eliuda Pohei proved himself to be a super-sub, coming off the bench and scoring less than ten minutes later. Don Angongi controlled the backline and proved a calm head when required.
Coach Quote: “Samoa have a good team, they held New Caledonia 2-1 so they will be a good challenge for us.”
Madang FC: 1. Glen AGAT (GK), 3. Nigel MALAGIAN, 4. Don ANGONGI, 5. Langarap SAMOL, 6. Samuel KINI, 7. Maximillion SENGUM, 8. Solomon MAPAI, 9. Patrick AISA, 10. Eliuda POHEI, 11. Vanya MALAGIAN, 12. Darren STEVEN, 13. Hanson TOPIO, 14. Michael TOLE, 15. Vincent WAROI, 16. Papalau AWELE, 18. Stahl GUBAG, 19. Steven INIA, 20. Kusuga KOMOLONG (GK), 21. Maskulan PULUNG, 23. Leehan MANASEH (GK)
Suspended: 17. Jacob SABUA
Coach: Francis MOYAP [PNG]
AS Magenta [MAG] vs. AS Central Sport [TAH]
Stade Numa Daly
Noumea, New Caledonia
Tuesday 28 February
Vital Statistics: Magenta previously met a Tahitian club in 2016. They beat AS Tefana 4-2 which helped them top Group C.
The Players: Gwena Poulawa was an impressive and powerful force up front. Good on the ball but also adequately physical. Joseph Athale remains one of the key attacking members of the squad and once he gets his finishing right will be even more lethal.
Coach Quote: “There was a lot of nervous tension in my team during the first half especially. I think for our next match we will be ready to capitalise on the chances we create.”
AS Magenta: 1. Steeve IXOEE (GK), 2. Jean-Christ WAJOKA, 3. Jean Brice WADRIAKO, 4. Gregory TARAMOIN, 5. Jeremie DOKUNENGO, 6. Kevin MAITRAN, 7. Joseph ATHALE, 8. Tado WELEPANE, 9. Gwena POULAWA, 10. Joerisse CEXOME, 11. Kevin NEMIA, 12. Yorick IEKAWE, 13. Yorick HNAUTRA, 14. Nicholas MARIN, 15. Didier SIMANE, 16. Eric HENESSEWENE, 17. Pierrot JELEWED, 18. Wilsen POAMENO, 19. Marek AUCHER, 20. Bill NICHOLLS, 21. Kevin LOLOHEA, 29. Victor MESSEAUD (GK), 30. Mickael ULILE (GK)
Coach: Alain MOIZAN [FRA]
AS Central Sport
Vital Statistics: Central Sport has four Chilean players in their squad, each of them made an impact on the scoresheet in their opening match with Madang with Cesar Castillo scoring twice.
The Players: Matatia Paama and Manuarii Hauata are excellent attacking players who combine seamlessly to create goal opportunities.
Coach Quote: “We think we’re ready for the match and we’ll be doing our best to get the victory.”
AS Central Sport: 1. Bruno TETUANUI (GK), 2. Kensi TANGIS, 3. Stephane FAATIARAU, 4. Teiki KANANOU, 5. Teheiarii TAUPOTINI, 6. Gaetan SANCHEZ, 7. Efrain ARANEDA, 8. Miguel ESTAY, 9. Matatia PAAMA, 10. Manuarii HAUATA, 12. Manutahi TETARIA, 13. Diego CIFUENTES, 15. Cesar CASTILLO, 16. Vaiarii HALLIGAN (GK), 18. Anipea TAATA, 20. Jay WARREN, 21, Fred TISSOT, 22. Valdo YAKEULA, 23. Raimana DHALLUIN, 24. Sergio SANDOVAL, 30. Fenedy MASAUVAKALO
Coach: Cyril KLOSEK [FRA]
For further information about this competition visit www.oceaniafootball.com