Sport: Lae City footballers eye top spot

1:20 pm on 14 March 2017

Lae City Dwellers say they will need to shore up their defence if they're to have a chance at causing an upset against OFC Champions League holders Auckland City.

The PNG club were 5-2 winners against Vanuatu's Malampa Revivors on Saturday, their first points in Oceania competition.

That was enough to send them top of Group C on goal difference after hosts Auckland came from a goal down to beat Western United from Solomon Islands 2-1.

Lae City Dwellers' captain Raymond Gunemba scores the opening goal against Malampa Revivors.

Lae City Dwellers' captain Raymond Gunemba scores the opening goal against Malampa Revivors. Photo: OFC via Phototek

Captain Raymond Gunemba said they were disappointed to concede twice and have focused on improving their defence in training.

Lae City and Auckland met last year with the six-time defending champions prevailing 2-1.

Only one team from each group can advance to this year's Champions League semi finals and Raymond Gunemba believed they were now better equipped to cause Auckland some problems.

"The last season when we came to the O-League I think we are not really prepared because it's straight after the NSL [PNG National League] grand final and the boys are not prepared well," he said.

"But I think this year we don't have any competition so I think all the boys are focused, mindset ready for the O-League so everyone is trained and all their focus is on the game."

Auckland's Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi gets the better of Lae City Dwellers Raymond Gunemba.

Lae City captain Raymond Gunemba (left) challenges for the ball against Auckland City in 2016. Photo: Photosport

A draw would be enough to keep Lae City above Auckland in their group but Raymond Gunemba said they would be targeting all three points.

"We really want to give our best. A win should be a credity and a draw, yeah, it will do. Our aim and focus is to give our best and whatever the result is, at least a win or a draw -

that would be good for the team," he said.