PNG Meets Fiji in Finals Decider

The NGCB PNG Kapuls will need to beat Fiji tomorrow morning (3AM PNG Time) to enter into the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Oceania Qualifier.

The hype is on after beating New Caledonia 1-0 in a physical and entertaining encounter at Suhaim Bin Stadium but despite Fiji’s big loss to New Zealand 4-0, the Kapuls should not take the Fijians lightly.

Team manager, Joseph Ealedona, said: “The team is faring well and will treat the game like a grand final match. This is the ultimate game as a win or draw takes us into the semifinals.”

Fiji will definitely come back fighting and both teams will run in with high hopes but only the better side will come home.

“The team mood is good led by our senior players and we leave it to the coaching team to work out strategies to contain Fiji,” Ealedona said.

PNG will field the same team with goalkeeper, Roland Warisan under close medical attention. The Kapuls line-up is: Ronald Warisan, Alwin and Felix Komolong, Emmanuel Airem, Daniel Joe (Backs), Michael Foster, Emmanuel Simon, Jacob Sabua, Stahl Gubag (midfield), Ati Kepo and Tommy Semmy (Strikers).

Meantime, the Bureau for the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers has handed down decisions in order to determine the winner and runner-up of Group A, in a fair and simple manner.

This follows a decision taken by the football associations of the Cook Islands and Vanuatu to withdraw from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Oceania Qualifiers due to positive cases of COVID-19 that affected their respective national teams.

The decisions are:
1. All matches played or scheduled to be played as part of Group A involving the Cook Islands or Vanuatu shall be deemed to have not taken place for the purposes of determining the group standings.

2. The match between the Solomon Islands and Tahiti scheduled for today, will act as a single play-off match to determine the winner and runner-up of Group A.
If the score is still level at the end of extra time, kicks from the penalty mark shall be taken to determine the winner.

3. The Solomon Islands will go into their match against Tahiti with a clean disciplinary record (as they did not receive any cautions in their match against the Cook Islands, this shall not change the status quo in substance).
4. For the avoidance of doubt, the match between the Cook Islands and the Solomon Islands, which took place on 17 March 2022, with a 2-0 result in favour of the Solomon Islands, will count with respect to the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.

The Semifinals schedule is:
March 27, Group A Winner vs Group B Runner-up
Group B Winner vs Group A Runner-Up and on March 30: Winner Semi-final 1 vs Winner Semi-final 2.

Susan Oreape