Tuesday, 5 June 2012 8:38 AM
A Look At Today's Match
The OFC Nations Cup continues today at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara, Solomon Islands, with the four Group A teams set to play their final pool fixtures of the tournament.
Pacific Games champions New Caledonia will face Samoa at 12pm local time before Tahiti and Vanuatu square off at 3pm local time.
Here's a look at the action that's in store.
New Caledonia vs. Samoa - 12:00pm, Tuesday 5 June
Les Cagous should have little trouble in winning this one but know that three points may not be enough if Vanuatu can pull off a win over group leaders Tahiti in the other match. Should that happen, Tahiti, Vanuatu and New Caledonia would all be tied on six points each and the two sides that go through would be decided on goal difference.
As things stand, Vanuatu and New Caledonia are dead even as they have exactly the same points tally and goal differential. Les Cagous therefore need to make sure the Samoa success is a hefty one to secure their safe passage and coach Alain Moizan is certain to adopt an attacking approach against a side that has already shipped 15 goals and scored just once.
Ominously for Samoa, their last dealing with a French territory was not a pleasant one, Tahiti humbling them 10-1 on the opening day. Coach Malo Vaga and his men were always going to find their Nations Cup debut tough going and the only aim now will be to sign off with a positive result.
Les Cagous will fancy their chances of a semi-final spot as their result is likely to better Vanuatu's but there is no guarantee and Moizan will impress on his players the importance of not allowing complacency to creep in. In a boost to Samoa's chances, key players Georges Gope-Fenepej and Jean Patrick Wakanumune will not be available for New Caledonia after being sent off in the thrilling loss to Tahiti.
"We are confident for this game and will use some of the players that haven't played so much as they are more fresh. We need to take this game seriously but I am sure the players will be strong enough and professional enough to do the job and secure a place in the semi-finals. We will play in an attacking manner and need to be as efficient as possible in front of goal." - New Caledonia coach Alain Moizan
"It's a big step up for us and we are making history for the country by being here. The last game will be hard but the others have been as well so it will be no different - we will be trying just as hard to win. It would be great to get a good result for our federation and the people back home. We saw New Caledonia play against Vanuatu and we know they have some good strikers." - Samoa captain Andrew Setefano
Tahiti vs. Vanuatu - 3:00pm, Tuesday 5 June
The equation for Vanuatu is simple in this one - they have no choice but to win and score as many goals as possible. While nothing is ever certain in football, it would be a major upset if Samoa were to triumph over New Caledonia tomorrow, so Vanuatu are likely to need three points here to keep pace with Les Cagous.
While they secured a 5-0 win over Samoa in their last match, that result may well come back to haunt Vanuatu as a higher number of goals were needed to put more pressure on New Caledonia. They do still have a chance of progressing if they can go on the rampage against Tahiti but that will be no easy feat as Eddy Etaeta's charges are yet to lose.
Some defensive frailties were exposed in the concession of three goals in the second half to nine-man New Caledonia yesterday though so Vanuatu may feel they have a realistic shout of a big win. A further factor in their favour is the potential absence of Tahiti captain and defensive lynchpin Nicolas Vallar, who picked up an injury against New Caledonia and had to be replaced.
The skipper's importance to the cause was underlined after his second-half departure as all three goals were let in from that point on. Etaeta will want to see improvements made in that area and will turn to brothers Lorenzo and Alvin Tehau, the two top scorers in the tournament, to provide the necessary goals at the other end.
"We have focused on our recuperation because our players used a lot of energy in the match against New Caledonia. We have not finished the job yet and it is not over for New Caledonia or Vanuatu either. The last games will be vital for all of our chances of qualifying for the semi-finals. I think Vanuatu have some good players and will have a lot of confidence after their win over Samoa." - Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta
"We watched Tahiti play yesterday and know they have some very good players. I think they will play a lot like New Caledonia, who we lost to, so we will have to pull up our socks and focus on trying to match them. The tournament is not finished for us and we will have to take the game to Tahiti and score some goals..," Vanuatu captain Brian Kaltack.
New Caledonia vs. Samoa,12:00pm, Tuesday 5 June, Lawson Tama Stadium, Honiara, Solomon Islands Referee: Gerald OIAKA [SOL]Assistant Referee 1: Ravinesh KUMAR [FIJ]Assistant Referee 2: Simon LOUNT [NZL]4th Official: John SAOHU [SOL]
Team New Caledonia:
1. Rocky NYIKEINE [GK], 2. Judikael IXOEE, 3. Emile BEARUNE, 4. Georges BEARUNE, 5. Kalaje GNIPATE, 6. Olivier DOKUNENGO, 7. Dominique WACALIE, 8. Miguel KAYARA, 9. Jacques HAEKO, 10. Marius BAKO, 11. Bertrand KAI, 12. Roy KAYARA, 13. Noel KAUDRE, 14. Dick KAUMA, 16. Iamel KABEU, 17. Joel WAKANUMUNE, 18. Jonathan KAKOU, 20. Marc OUNEMOA [GK], Coach: Alain MOIZAN
1. Aukusitino AITUPE [GK], 2. Andrew SETEFANO, 3. Peni KITIONA, 4. Vaalii FAALOGO, 5. Tamato FENIKA, 6. Silao MALO, 7. Jarrel SALE, 8. Joseph HOEFLICH, 9. Max HOEFLICH, 10. Luki GOSCHE, 11. Suivai ATAGA, 12. Mike SAOFAIGA, 13. Sapati UMUTAUA, 14. Sopo FAKAUA, 15. Patrick ASIATA, 16. Amilale ESAROMA, 17. Spencer KELI, 18. Masei AMOSA, 19. Ethan ELISAIA [GK], 20. Motu HAFOKA [GK]Coach: Malo VAGA
Tahiti vs. Vanuatu 3:00pm, Tuesday 5 June, Lawson Tama Stadium,Honiara, Solomon Islands
Referee: Peter O'LEARY [NZL]Assistant Referee 1: Jan Hendrik HINTZ [NZL]Assistant Referee 2: Mark RULE [NZL]4th Official: Chris KERR [NZL]
1. Mikael ROCHE [GK], 2. Alvin TEHAU, 3. Tamatoa WAGEMANN, 4. Teheivarii LUDIVION, 6. Lorenzo TEHAU, 7. Henri CAROINE, 8. Angelo TCHEN, 9. Teaonui TEHAU, 10. Nicolas VALLAR, 11. Manaraii PORLIER, 12. Hiro POROIAE, 13. Steevy CHONG HUE, 14. Roihau DEGAGE, 15. Heimano BOUREBARE, 16. Pierre KOHUMOETINI, 17. Jonathan TEHAU, 18. Edson LEMAIRE, 19. Vincent SIMON, 21. Xavier SAMIN [GK], Coach: Eddy ETAETA
1. Enest BONG [GK], 2. Kevin SHEM, 3. Young PAUL, 4. Selwin SESE ALA, 5. Robert TOM, 6. Fredy VAVA, 7. Jean Robert YELOU, 8. Sailas NAMATAK, 9. Derek MALAS, 10. Jean KALTACK, 11. Robert TASSO, 12. Joseph NAMARIAU, 13. Francois SAKAMA, 14. Kensi TANGIS, 15. Alphonse BONGNAIM, 16. Seiloni IARUEL [GK], 17. Jean NAPRAPOL, 18. Michell KALTAK, 19. Roddy LENGA, 20. Lucien HINGE, 21. Dominique FRED, 22. Brian KALTACK, 23. Simon TOUSI [GK]
Coach: Percy AVOCK