‘We are going for the three points’ says Western United assistant coach
WESTERN United Football Club and Suva FC have already been ruled out from the race in Group B for a semi-final place, therefore their last battle this afternoon will be more about avoiding the bottom place.
Although neither side can advance from the pool, the match will certainly not be lacking in intensity, as Commins Menapi and Gurjit Singh look to regain some confidence after two defeats each from Amicale FC and Auckland FC.
While the home team Western United may have lost to both Auckland City FC and Amicale FC, the team showed that they are not out of their depth at this level.
The two losses mean they’re in a battle with hosts Suva FC to lift themselves off the bottom of the table and a win would make the flight home a lot easier to take.
Assistant coach Italian Riccardo Di Vivo said the WU team will go today for the three points.
“We’re going into this match with the same mentality,” Riccardo told OFC media yesterday.
“We’ll try and play the game with the same tempo, we’re not going to change our style and we’re going to go for the three points.”
Walking away with the three points will not be easy as the hosts will be keen to give their fans, who have turned out in good numbers throughout the group stage, some fond memories of their debut campaign.
The Western United and Suva FC clash is schedule to kick off at around 3:30pm
Meanwhile deciding match for the group B semi finalists will be between Aukland City FC and Amicale FC after the Western United and Suva FC clash.
This is undoubtedly the marquee match-up of the tournament to date.
Six-time champions Auckland City have looked sharp as ever in their two matches and need only a draw against Amicale to top the group.
But this is the re-match that Marko Banchini’s side has been waiting for after last May’s 3-2 final defeat to Ramon Tribulietx’s side over two legs.
In Oceania there’s no game an underdog raises for more than a match against the defending champions, who are so far on track for an historic fifth straight regional title.
A delighted Banchini said after the last-gast win on Tuesday that football was ‘crazy’ and ‘superb’, and no doubt he would be adding more superlatives to that list if he came out victorious today.
While Amicale have squeaked through in their two games, Auckland has scored six and is yet to concede in the tournament.
Tribulietx is pleased with the way his team dealt with an unfamiliar style of play in Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat of Western United.
And he knows that topping the group would provide a clear psychological advantage to the sides to meet again in the knockout phase.
Group B action gets underway at Suva’s ANZ Stadium from 3:30pm (local time) with the clash between Western United and Suva before the big re-match between Amicale FC and Auckland City FC at 6pm (local time).