13 Feb 2018

Sport: Tupapa Maraerenga defiant despite defeat

1:13 pm on 13 February 2018

Tupapa Maraerenga remain bullish about their chances in the OFC Champions League despite a crushing first up defeat.

The Cook Islands club champions were thumped 7-2 by Lae City Dwellers from Papua New Guinea in their opening Group A fixture in Port Vila at the weekend, in their first match at this level since 2001.

Tupapa Maraerenga are hoping for more moments like this.

Tupapa Maraerenga are hoping for more moments like this. Photo: OFC via Phototek

Despite the result, team manager Jimmy Temu Maesters remained adamant they were the better team.

"We made a lot of mistakes and that cost us the game. The other team: we will beat them. Just because we missed a lot of goals that's why we didn't win the game but the other team they're not bad," he said.

"... I think we're better than them but made a lot of mistakes, we missed about six goals - (it should have been) 8-7 to us that's how I watched the game and the weather is so hot, hotter than where we come from."

Jimmy Temu Maesters said Tupapa created more than enough chances to come out on top.

"We should have scored a lot of goals because our strikers they did their best but they were blocked by their goalkeeper - he played a very good game, stopping all our goals and he's very fit and all that," he said.

"He dived everywhere the ball goes. Our keeper he did his best but...we learn a lot from these people because three goals were a mistake because all our players came to the front and nobody (was left) at the back and then they just put it in."

Troy Gunemba during Lae City's 7-2 win over Tupapa.

Troy Gunemba during Lae City's 7-2 win over Tupapa. Photo: OFC via Phototek

Tupapa Maraerenga face another tough task in today's second round against local side Nalkutan FC.

The Vanuatu champions beat Fiji's Ba 1-0 in their Champions League debut but Jimmy Temu Maesters was confident his side will take the vital three points.

"We watched their match against Fiji - we're going to beat them," he declared.

"This is their first time, this is our first time over here. The way I watched our boys play and the way they play...we will do our best to beat them even though they are the home side."

Lae City take on Ba in the opening match at Korman Stadium this afternoon.

James Naka (L) and Nalkutan FC got the better of Fiji's Ba.

Nalkutan are bidding for back to back wins. Photo: OFC via Phototek