Allen hopes for Marist step up
BY ROMULUS HUTA
MARIST coach Jerry Allen is hoping that first timers Mathias Iani and Davidson Tome will step up in the absence of Abraham Iniga during their final Group D Oceania Champions League match this afternoon.
Marist’s final pool encounter is against Samoan representative Lupe Ole Soaga and set for a 4pm kick off at Lawson Tama.
Veteran striker Iniga will sit out this afternoon’s match on suspension following his dismissal during the game against AS Magenta on Tuesday.
The sending off of Iniga enabled Marist to play with 10 men for the remaining 30 minutes of the match and held a much-determined Magenta side to a one-all draw.
Iniga is one of the matured key players in the team and his absence will be greatly missed, according to Allen.
However, Allen will leave the rest of all hopes and the responsibility onto first timers Iani and Tome to step up for them in the attack.
“We’ll give them a good game and make sure we can get three points from it.
“We must try to score.
“We have a lots of first timers in the team, the likes of Mathias Iani and Tome who are the two upfront.
“Hopefully they will step up for us in our final match,” Allen said in the pre-match interview.
Marist currently sits third on the Group D table with two points behind Team Wellington and AS Magenta who are on four points each respectively.
While Lupe Ole Soaga had already lost the contention for the quarterfinals following two losses, the race for Group D’s two quarterfinal spots still hangs on the balance on a three horse race between Marist, Team Wellington and AS Magenta.
The match this afternoon is a crucial one for the homeside where they need a bigger winning margin inorder for them to qualify for one of the eight spots in the quarterfinals.
Marist will be hoping for nothing less than a win in the result of the 1pm encounter between Team Wellington and AS Magenta.
A draw between Team Wellington and Magenta means that Marist will have to work extra harder in the 4pm match up against Lupe Ole Soaga for a bigger margin win.
A draw for Marist against Lupe Ole Soaga would completely rule out the hosts of a place in the quarterfinals.
Marist have shown that they are capable of defending and more than capable of terrorising the final third of their opponent’s half. However with a young striker force still developing their killer instincts, Marist’s fate is still very much in their own hands.
Meanwhile, Allen calls on members of the public to come out in numbers again to cheer for them as they continue their quest in the Oceania Champions League to join fellow Telekom S-League outfit Solomon Warriors in the quarterfinals.