Since their qualification, Tupapa Maraerenga has been preparing themselves for the OFC champions league 2019 – Group stage. The club which qualified for the tournament at the beginning of the month will travel to Honiara where they will play Solomon Warriors, AS Magenta and Auckland City FC in group D of the OFC champions league 2019.
On Wednesday 13th February, the team received a generous donation from the Tupapa Sports Association to help with their preparations and help them in their travels to the OFC Champions League. The team flies out on Tuesday 19th February and will arrive as one of the underdogs of the tournament, they will, however, still play with pride and will fight for a place in the knock-out stage.
The tournament will be played similar to the one held here last month with each team playing three games over one week, in hopes of taking one of the top two spots in the pool. The top two teams will qualify for the knock-out stage where they will play teams from other pools and go on to play for the Championship.
Tupapa Maraerenga’s first game will kick off at 7 pm on the 23rdof February, local time, against the group’s hosts Solomon Warriors. Solomon Warriors is one of the more successful teams in the “S-League” Solomon League, having won the most recent titles since 2011 with four engravings on the trophy. They have also not fallen below fourth place on their eight-team ladder during that same period, indicating that they are a reasonably dominant club in that league.
Tupapa’s second game will be played against the tournament’s most successful team, Auckland City FC, who has won the OFC champions league nine times. Auckland City and Tupapa have played each other before and the results have ended up the same each time, with Auckland City finding the back of the net more times than our local team. Tupapa will play Auckland City FC on the 26th February at 4 pm Local time.
Lastly, Tupapa Maraerenga will play AS Magenta at 4 pm on the 1st March in their final game. AS Magenta is a solid side to go head to head with. The New Caledonian champs hold 15 titles to their name in their country and are the most successful team there.
Tupapa Maraerenga FC has found themselves in a hard pool, meaning that they will have a lot of work ahead of them.