On Sunday – 27th Feb – New Caledonia national ream traveled to France to continue their preparation for the World Cup qualifiers.
The team settled in Nantes, where they were able to meet coach of Nantes of Ligue 1 – the New Caledonian football legend Antoine Kombouaré. Born in Nouméa, he made his career in French football with Nantes for seven years and also with clubs such as PSG and Scottish giants Aberdeen. They watched the semifinal match of Coupe de France where Nantes beat Monaco on penalties shootout that placed the Kombouaré-coached side to the finals after 22 years.
Two friendlies were on the agenda for Dominique Wacalie’s coached team. In the first match the opponent was Vertou of the fifth division of French football – a comfortable victory for the Cagous by 2-0, goals by Pierre Bako and Morgan Mathelon.
In the second clash the opponent was Orvault from the sixth level of France. The Cagous took the field with a completely changed team, with Wacalie testing new variations. Even so, the New Caledonians won 3-0, with goals from Pierre Kauma, Cédric Decoire and Bertrand Kai.
New Caledonia is set now to travel to Doha, Qatar next Monday, 7th March. They will start their campaign against Fiji on 18th March.