Hienghène Sport recently announced they signed with Kohei Matsumoto to play the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup. He is one of the three foreign players that arrived alongside with Pedro Sousa and Marcos Camargo.
Matsumoto is a 30 years old Japanese defender/midfielder with a big experience. Despite his homeland, he played in some countries like Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Vanuatu. Hienghène is his third team in the year – he played for Malampa Revivors (Vanuatu) in 2019 OFC Champions League and he last played for Hamilton Wanderers in the 2019-20 ISPS Handa Premiership – “I believe I can be a valuable addition to the team on and off the pitch” said Matsumoto.
His first contact with Hienghène Sport was in February – “I played against Hienghène Sport in 2019 OFC Champions League when I was defending Malampa Revivors from Vanuatu.” – after some time in New Zealand he was called to play for the New Caledonian club in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Hienghène is already in Qatar to face Al-Sadd next Wednesday (Thursday in Oceania). While the whole world is thinking that Al-Sadd will have an easy match, Matsumoto disagrees – “Al-Sadd is a very good team, but I believe we have a chance. We have a lot of analysis about them. Tagawa (Head coach of Hienghène Sport) is disciplined. He has a lot of experience as a player as well.”
Matsumoto spent just a few weeks in New Caledonia with the team but some of his opinions corroborate with things said by one of the best New Caledonian players: Jean-Philippe Saiko. Both believe that there are many hidden talents in the french territory. However, the tactical, mental and physical lacks prevent local players to make the next level. Anyway, he is still confident and happy – “I have been enjoying it so far […] I believe we are well prepared”.
Oceania Football Center wishes good luck to Hienghène Sport.