American Samoa will play Samoa on Match Day 2 of the OFC U16 Championship Qualifier, looking for its first win on the second day of the tournament at Loto-Tonga Soka Centre in Veitongo, Tonga.
The game kicks off at 11 a.m. on July 17, 2018 (11 a.m., July 16, American Samoa time and date).
American Samoa will have to scramble to find a replacement for one of their key defenders, Peni Collins, who is serving a one-game suspension following his red card in the 1-1 draw with Tonga on Saturday, July 14.
“Not having Peni available for our game is a big hit to our team, especially in the back,” said the team’s coach, Rupeni Luvu. “We have been making adjustments and we just need our players to play as a team in order to overcome a very good Samoa team.”
Samoa won 3-0 against the Cook Islands and are in the driver’s seat for the final qualifying spot for the second stage in the Solomon Islands in September.
“Samoa is a fit team, the players can run up and down the field and they love to chase the ball,” Luvu pointed out. “My team is going to have to dig deep against Samoa.”
There were no injuries to the players from the last game, only muscle cramps that affected many of the players.
Luvu said that he and the management are working towards taking care of that issue.
If American Samoa loses, they do not have a chance of qualifying for the next stage. A win will improve those chances dramatically, while a draw will require a win on the next game and help from the other scheduled between Samoa and Tonga.