Eddie Marahare: satisfied with Eels’ performance in OFC Champions League

Henderson Eels had a good performance in 2020 OFC Champions League as they are now qualified for the knockout stage. However things were not so easy to the Solomon Islands side as forward Joses Nawo scored a goal in the 96th minute against Lautoka to give Henderson Eels a spot in the quarterfinals.

It was a very difficult match for Eels. They were losing by 2-0 when head coach Eddie Marahare made some changes that really made the difference – “I made tactical changes to drop Joses Nawo as a free player as we were having only three defenders which allowed more players to attack. The addition of Kennedy Watemae who replaced Hudson Felani was very important once he opened the gates for the win by scoring the first goal,” said Marahare.

Nawo scored a late goal to qualify Henderson Eels for the quarterfinals. Source: OFC Media

The changes were risky but they were worth – “I am happy with the performance of two players that did a good job against Lautoka: Rollence Misitana in central defense and Obed Ofea who replaced Leon Kofana in the second half,” explained Eddie. Eels finished the group stage unbeaten as they won one match and drew another two and it made Marahare satisfied with the team’s performance in the tournament so far.

Eddie also highlighted the importance of Raphael Lea’i in the team – “He has a lot of potential to become a great player in the future. He accomplished his goal to score in the Champions League.” Lea’i and Leon Kofana are now off for trials with Melbourne Victory from Australia.

Eels’ opponent in the quarterfinals is not known yet but they are already getting ready for the clash that is scheduled to be played on April 25/26 – “We have five weeks for the team to work on areas that need improvement like team defending and positional play. Improvements on these areas will make things tougher for our opponents in the quarterfinals,” – pointed Eddie.

Eddie Marahare coaching the Eels in the OFC Champions League. Source: OFC Media

Marahare is proving his quality as a head coach. He recently won the Best Coach Award of 2019-20 Telekom S-League, the main football league in Solomon Islands. Now it is time to prove himself in the next level: the OFC Champions League knockout stage.

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