Govind Park in Ba will host its last round of matches in the 2015 Fiji Airways OFC Champions League this evening. This evening matches will be the final matches in Group A at Govind Park while the ANZ stadium will also host Group B matches.
FC Gaitcha goes in search of an unlikely debut finals appearance when it takes on Lupe Ole Soaga of Samoa at 4:30pm, before hosts Ba look to confirm their place in the knockout phase against AS Pirae of Tahiti.
New Caledonian outfit Gaitcha will have their calculators out post-match as they look to the permutations which might see them advance to the last four.
But all Kevin Coma’s team can do is beat Lupe, and beat them well, and hope other results go in their favour.
They certainly are confident, fresh from Tuesday’s 5-2 thrashing of Pirae which hauled them from the bottom of the group and into contention.
The result gives Gaitcha an even goal difference and they will be looking to increase that column even further to give themselves a shout.
In Bertrand Kai, Marius Bako and Jean Christ Wajoka they have a trio at the top of the park capable of troubling the scorers, it’s just a matter of whether or not they click.
A win would move them level with Ba on six points, with the Men In Black to play later that evening.
For Lupe player-coach Paul Ualesi, the match is about redemption following a scrappy and sometimes ill-tempered loss to Ba on Tuesday afternoon.
In the game, they received four yellow cards, including two to defender Suivai Ataga, and a straight red to substitute Oscar Amataga for dissent.
The pair will miss the match against Gaitcha as Ualesi looks to put aside the disappointment of elimination by recording a first win in the tournament.
In a similar vein, Pirae will approach their final tie of the tournament philosophically after being ruled out of a second straight semi-final appearance by Tuesday’s results.
Sam Garcia’s side squandered a two-goal lead against Lupe before conceding three in the opening half against Gaitcha.
Though they responded well and scored two consolation goals, the drubbing was enough to rule Pirae out of contention for their second straight appearance in the semi-finals.
Their attention will now turn to avoiding the dishonour of bottom spot in Group A, and victory against Ba would provide the ideal pick-me-up after a rough week for the Tahitian side.
Coach Sam Garcia has vowed to put behind him the disappointment of the campaign so far and leave behind ‘the best image’ of his side.
But the home team have been convincing in both of their games thus far and can seal top spot with a draw or better against Pirae.
National U-20 striker Saula Waqa’s hat trick was the headline for the 3-1 win over Lupe, but his was just one of many strong performances in a match which Ba could have won by more.
Waqa’s strike partner Keegan Linderboom toiled all evening without reward, Avisnesh Swamy and Malakai Tiwa dictated the tempo well from midfield and Alvin Singh and Remueru Tekiate looked relatively comfortable at the back, but for a horrible error which gifted Lupe an unlikely equaliser before half-time.
In all, Ba are looking ominous in Group A with as many goals to their name as points. They can wrap up the group with a draw or better against Ba.
Lupe’s match against Gaitcha kicks off at 4:30pm, followed by Ba’s game against Pirae at 7pm. Both matches are played at Ba’s Govind Park.