The PNG Kapuls will be banking on home crowd support to upset the much fancy Tahitians in the first leg of the Group B FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier.
The return match will be played in Papeete, Tahiti on March 28.
PNG men’s team had been overshadowed by the women’s performance for a long time.
The PNG women’s are the Queens of Pacific soccer with consecutive Pacific Games Gold Medals to prove their supremacy.
But the tide is changing for the Kapuls, as they have found success in recent international matches against teams from the Oceania Region, and will be aiming to maintain the rise.
Meantime, the Governor General Bob Dadae conveyed his best wishes to the men’s national soccer team.
“Sports is a mechanism for promoting national unity. It unites our people from different tribes, provinces and regions. It promotes the concept of national identity and oneness. I want to urge fellow citizens to throw their support behind the Kapuls and I wish them the very best when they take on Tahiti on Thursday,” Dadae said.
PNG midfielder Michael Foster told OFC.COM about a newfound belief is a big part of the Kapuls current rise as they ready themselves for the start of the next part of their World Cup mission.
Foster was a key figure in his team’s run to the OFC Nations Cup final and was a standout in the goalless draw in that decider against New Zealand, who eventually claimed a place in the FIFA Confederations Cup in a penalty shootout.
To prove that the Kapuls’ best-ever performance wasn’t a flash in the pan but a sign of a deeper revolution, the side then went out and defeated Malaysia in a friendly – the nation’s first win over non-OFC opposition.
The game will kick off at 4pm and tickets for the match are sold at Euro Sports at Vision City.