The OFC Champions League Group B actions resume today y with crucial matches for AS Central Sport, FC Morobe Wawens, Lautoka FC and Henderson Eels heading into match day two of competition at Churchill Park in Lautoka, Fiji.
Front runners Lautoka FC and AS Central Sport are one win away from securing progression to the next stage while FC Morobe Wawens and Henderson Eels desperately need a win to keep their hopes alive in the competition.
Kicking off the day’s fixtures is a crucial match for both FC Morobe Wawens and AS Central Sport.
FC Morobe needing maximum points to keep them in the competition and AS Central would have one foot in the quarterfinals with a win.
The Papua New Guineans were playing without some of their key players and coach against the hosts on Sunday.
FC Morobe coach Peter Purari joined the team on Monday and is confident his team is capable of an upset against the Tahiti Ligue 1 champions.
“To be honest, I wasn’t here, the full strength of the team wasn’t here so what happen yesterday is yesterday,” he said.
“I think positively we look forward towards tomorrow’s game. It’s our defensive formation which I really need to work on and the attacking also.
“We really don’t know what they (AS Central) are capable of but I think after 90 minutes of football will know where we stand.”
Efrain Araneda, AS Central Sport coach said it’s a must win game as a final group match against Lautoka looms.
“We need to take the game seriously to try to win to arrive with 6 points against Lautoka,” he said.
Araneda stressed his team has learned both positives and negatives from their win against Henderson Eels.
“I think we started well, than we had some difficulties, we were in trouble.
“It’s a defensive problem, but I think we’re going to continue improving here until the last match,” he added.
Hosts Lautoka will be targeting another positive result following their opening day big win over FC Morobe.
A win would see the Blues in the driving seat but standing in their way is a determined Henderson Eels side who heading into the encounter with a must win scenario.
Lautoka coach Kamal Swamy pays tribute to Henderson Eels’ fighting spirit in the end against AS Central Sport on Sunday.
Swamy rued his strikers’ missed chances in the game against Morobe and cautioned his players to be shape in front of goal against the Solomon Islanders.
“I think in the last 20 minutes that counts and they came back which means they (Henderson Eels) are a strong side,” he said.
“They played until the last whistle and we need to keep that in mind that we cannot relax and at the same if the opportunities come we need to finish it, if we don’t finish it they can punish as in the last 20 minutes.”
Henderson Eels were disappointed after their opening day defeat at the hands AS Central with the game fairly in the balance after a fight back from the Islanders.
Like Swamy, Henderson Eels coach Eddie Marahare has urged his players to be ruthless in the attacking third in an uphill battle against the hosts.
“Another tough game and hopefully if we could work on our football problems, I think our boys should step up in our second game against Lautoka,” he said.
“Overall, one of the key areas is the boys need to step up their confidence to keep the ball and improve on our finishing.”