OCL Prelimary Round: Tupapa debuts as Lupe o le Soaga only needs a draw to proceed to group stage

The second match of the 2020 OFC Champions League, in its preliminary stage, will see the debut of the Cook Islands champions Tupapa Maraerenga against the Samoan representative Lupe o le Soaga – the Samoans won their debut match against Veitongo from Tonga to open the competiton in fashion, putting them close to the group stage of the current edition of OFC Champions League.

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The Samoan side celebrate their opening goal in the tournament – OFC Media

Two goals in the first half from Matthew Chant and Suivai Ataga were enough to make the 2-0 victory of the favourites in the clash against the Tongan champions. Despite controling the most part of the game, Veitongo make the things harder for Lupe in the second half and deserved at least to score once – what was not a good signal for the team coached by Paul Ualesi. “We need to jell our combinations and everything, we need to work on some of our weaknesses. We need to improve our passing and movement and finishing. Finishing is the main key“, said the coach Ualesi to OFC.

Tupapa, the team that is still to play in the competition, seems prepared for the challenge, couting with experienced players as the Cook Islands international Grover Harmon and Harlem Simiona and the Chilean midfielder André Estay. The player/coach Anthony Samuela said: “I think the team looks fit, looking at the shape of the boys, everybody’s good“, in his pre-match interview for OFC.

If the Samoans do not lose this game, they will play once again the group stage of the OFC Champions League as they did three times already. A draw will be enough to avoid Veitongo to reach them in table, as two of three teams will proceed to the next stage – the possible four-point Lupe will guarantee their spot as they could be reached by a 0-point Veitongo in the moment.

The match will be streamed by Oceania Football Confedaration channel in MyCujoo platform at the 4pm NZT, this Tuesday 28th January.

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