Saturday, September 30, 2023
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PNG ready for do-or-die match against Fiji

Papua New Guinea is ready to face the Junior Bula Boys in their all-important match of the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday.

After losing the opening match to host nation New Zealand 3-0 by forfeiture, PNG needs a win while Fiji only needs a draw after their 3-1 loss on Wednesday.

The team landed in Auckland on Wednesday and despite the short turnaround, PNG coach David Muta says the side is raring to go up against Fiji in a chilly Auckland weather they are not well adjusted to playing at.

“The boys are ready to play despite a short time in training. They have to make sure that the attitude and discipline they have been displaying in the training needs to be put forward in the game.”

“It’s a short time but our boys have brought experience from the NPL and some from the amateur league.”

“Auckland is cold but that’s an excuse for us. We are here to play football and the boys took a few runs.”

Muta said the players have been reminded of the seriousness of the match which is their only chance to progress into the semifinal stage of the tournament.

“Our approach for the game is that we are giving everything out and don’t hold back anything.”

“We are playing this for our country and it’s not any club-level football. We told the boys to focus on the whys and not on missing out the opening match due to delay, that’s something the management has to deal with.”

“The boys are blending well and looking forward to the game. We remind our boys that this is a do or die for us and we have to play really well and give our everything to win to put us in the semis.”

He added that teamwork will be vital as they are expecting the Fijians to be firing and aggressive.

“Everyone has to work collectively to make sure that we come out with a positive result. This is our only chance and we have to make use of it.”

“All our players have been training together and we are soldiers which means we don’t have to give excuses and go in the right direction to face the challenge against Fiji.”

“I have played against some Fijians in the O-League and I know they are very strong players. Fiji football is always aggressive in their style of play but we have to be strong against them.”

“If we go in there and play easy, definitely they will run us down and we’ve got to be strong to beat Fiji.”

The Kiwis have already booked a spot to the semfinal as the Group A leader.

The PNG vs Fiji match will kick off at 3pm at Go Media Stadium.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist |


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