BY ROMULAS HUTA
HENDERSON Eels FC will play Team Wellington FC of New Zealand in the quarterfinal of the 2019 OFC Champions League.
This was confirmed this morning following the draws held at the OFC headquarter in Auckland, New Zealand, which has outlined the road ahead for the remaining eight teams, including semi-final match up as well the final for this year’s competition.
While the specific details of this particular quarterfinal match-up are yet to be released, Henderson Eels will play the current Oceania Champions on April 6/7 away from home at David Farrington Park in Wellington.
Henderson Eels head coach Eddie Marahare welcomed the outcome of the draws by admitting that the road ahead is not getting any easier as Team Wellington is the current Oceania champions.
“The upcoming quarterfinal match-up would be tough and the good thing is we still have four weeks left to prepare.
“Team Wellington came out as winners of Group C played in Vanuatu and have dominated the group play against other two Melanesian clubs Ba FC and Erakor.
“Since the quarterfinal will be a one-off match, our entire preparations will solely focus on this one during the next few weeks,” Marahare adds.
Marahare added that he will fetch as many videos as possible of the recent Team Wellington matches to get a closer look of how their play.
“I’ll watch their videos to try and pick out their weak areas.
“If we prepare well, we can beat them. Nothing is impossible and it goes down to the tactics we’d come up with for this contest.”
The winner of the Henderson Eels-Team Wellington match will meet the winner of the encounter between Hienghene Sport and Ba FC in the first semi-final. The draw has also confirmed that the winner of the match between Hienghene Sport and Ba FC will be the host of the first semifinal on April 27/28.
Regarding the other last-eight fixtures, Group B winners AS Central Sport from Tahiti will host Group D runners up AS Magenta from New Caledonia in a highly anticipated francophone derby in the first quarter final.
Nine-time champions Auckland City, who topped Group D will welcome Papua New Guinea’s Group B runners-up Lae City FC in quarter final two, while Fijian giants Ba FC who qualified as the second team from group C will travel to Kone to face Group A winners Hiengehene Sport from New Caledonia.