Warriors meet AS Lossi today
BY TAROMANE MARTIN
SOLOMON Warriors FC Head Coach Moses Toata says his side is determined to win their last two matches after losing their opening Group B match to Erakor Golden Stars of Vanuatu on Monday.
Goals from Erakors, Barry Mansale in the 66th minute and Tony Kaltack in the 67th minute saw Warriors struggling to get back in the match with 10 men after first choice goal keeper Izomo Bird was red carded in the 63rd minute.
Toata said the condition of the pitch was not favourable for their game style and also lamented on the number of chances squandered by his side against Erakor.
“The first game did not go well but we are looking forward for the next game against Lossi,” he said.
“The condition of the pitch does not favour our game style. The rain continued the whole day yesterday and today. But hope the rain slows down.
“The mistake by goalkeeper Izomo was the turning point of that game, they scored from the free kick and we were chasing the game for most of the second half with 10 men. You know at this level, it makes a lot of difference.
“On the other hand, the number of missed opportunities is unbelievable. I don’t know what happened. I mean three one-on-one chances with the keeper for Feni and Tangis but they just couldn’t finish.
“Erakor were more determined and they have a lethal striker Tony Kaltack which our defenders need to deal with every time he has the ball.
“The boys are okay, we hope things will fall our way for the next game tomorrow (today).
“I know we can beat them and look forward for the last game against Dragons. As a team we are still determined to win both remaining matches and qualify,” Coach Toata told Sun SPORTS yesterday.
Warriors have now lost their opening group stage match in each of their four OFC Champions League campaigns. In each of the three previous campaigns they bounced back to claim a draw in their next match.
Moses Toata and his Solomon Warriors side will take on AS Lossi 12 pm today.
For both teams, recovery from Monday takes on even more importance having played some their respective matches on a rain-soaked Stade Pater pitch with just ten men.
But with their quarterfinal hopes in the balance there is still much work to be done on the pitch before the do-or-die clash.
“Wednesday will be a different game, I have confidence in my players and, from what I could feel when we had dinner all together after the match, they have regained confidence too. They’re now focusing on recovering: resting well, eating well and getting the treatments they need,” AS Lossi Head Coach Victor Wejieme told OFC media.
“So far, Dragon and Erakor both have one victory, but all is not lost for us, we can still qualify for the quarters,” Wejieme said.
“We’ll take the two matches one at the time and we’ll do our best to ensure the team is ready for each one of them and we’ll count the points at the end.
“I don’t know yet if we’ll change our game system or not but I have confidence in my players. There’s just some fatigue due to the fact that we were reduced to 10 men during most of the match yesterday. If we had played the whole match 11 vs 11, I think the situation will be different than what it is today,” he adds.