By Shane Saroya – EM TV Sport, Port Moresby
Lae City Dwellers’ loss to Auckland City FC in yesterday’s Group A clash may well have kept them out of semi-final contention in the OFC Champions League.
Auckland will now be favourit’s to finish on top of Group A, although Amicale can still do so if they beat the New Zealanders in the group’s all-important final game on Sunday.
In Group B Hekari United and Team Wellington both earned their second consecutive victory on match day five.
While Suva FA and AS Lossi are out of the running to make the knockout stages, the group’s last match between Wellington and Hekari on Saturday will effectively act as a head-to-head showdown for the semi-finals.
The loser of that match may still progress as the best-placed runner-up, but that is likely to depend on the status of their goal tally.
In Group C, Magenta’s victory over Tefana on has put them in prime position to claim the top spot in the group, and qualify them for the OFC Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 10 years. But, they will first have to get past a spirited Nadi side.
For AS Tefana it is also a must-win situation as the side needs a big win against a depleted Kiwi FC if they want to claim the now coveted best runners-up slot.
For Kiwi FC, things are more complicated than they expected at this stage in the competition. They will have some ground to make up in the eyes of their peers and fans back home in Samoa but it will be a hard mountain for them to climb.
For Nadi, like Kiwi FC, the next 90-minute match will be a tough one as they too struggle due to a hugely depleted squad.
The OFC Champions League will see a pair of games in Group C today; Nadi FA taking on AS Magenta from 11am before AS Tefana meet Kiwi FC at 1.30pm.