Veitongo FC

Tupapa grab vital draw against Veitongo

Cook Islands club Tupapa only needed a draw from the Qualifying Stage contest in Auckland after they also drew with Lupe Ole Soaga SC earlier in the week.

Coming into the match, the pressure was on Veitongo who went down 2-0 to Lupe last Saturday; that defeat meant only a win would push Veitongo through to the group stages of this year’s Champions League.

The Tongan club came out firing and went ahead in the second minute through skipper Hemaloto Polovili who powered a strong shot home.

Tonga’s Veitongo hunting for victory

Only a victory will see the Tongan club grab the final spot on offer in the group stages of this year’s competition.

After losing their opening game of the three-team Qualifying Stage 2-0 to Lupe Ole Soaga SC, Veitongo have left themselves with an uphill task.

It won’t be easy against Tupapa, who hail from the Cook Islands, and it may come down to which team can best adapt to the turf underfoot at the Ngahue Reserve.

Most of the players in both squads are used to playing on grass pitches and the artificial turf has added an extra twist to the Qualifying Stage.

Family affair for Tonga’s Veitongo

The Uhatahi family is a big part of the club and they also have another brother that lives in New Zealand.

Aside from Mark with the clipboard, Sione, Tupou and Pita are on the playing roster and they all featured during their 2-0 loss to Lupe Ole Soaga SC in their opening match of the Qualifying Stage of the OFC Champions League 2020 in Auckland on Saturday.

The family would love to help push their side into the group stages of the Champions League but face a tough task ahead of their second game against Cook Islands club Tupapa Maraerenga FC in Auckland on Friday.

Lupe ride first-half goals to opening win

Lupe Ole Soaga SC 2 Veitongo FC 0

Goals in the first half to import Matthew Chant and defender Suvai Ataga proved the difference as the Samoan side made the most of the strong wind behind them.

Lupe had a handful of chances, particularly in the opening spell, but a combination of some rusty finishing and good goalkeeping by Veitongo gloveman Sinilau Taufa ensured the scoreline remained close.

Veitongo FC represents Tonga at OFC meet

The football club received a cash of TOP 1, 000.00, set of training t-shirts and polo shirts from TCC.

Team Manager, Ichikawa George Polovili expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the company for sponsoring the team.

Veitongo FC will play the opening match against Samoan club Lupe Ole Soaga at the Ngahue Reserve this weekend.

On Tuesday, January 28, Tupapa Maraerenga FC (Cook Islands) will meet Lupe Ole Soaga.

The final match-day for the Qualifying Stages is on Friday, January 31 and Veitongo will play Tupapa Maraerenga.

Lupe Ole Soaga, Veitongo battle for final berth

The Samoan side are second in the Champions League Qualifier standings, with one win and one loss from the opening two rounds in Pago Pago.

A draw against Tonga's Veitongo FC would be enough to join Tupapa Maraerenga in reaching the main draw but coach Paul Ualesi says they won't be holding back.

"The boys are preparing really well for Veitongo, our brothers from Tonga because we respect them as well," he said.

Tupapa seal OFC Champions League return

The Cook Islands club last featured in the main draw back in 2001 and this is the first time they've progressed to the Group Stage via the Qualifier.

Sean Latimer put Tupapa in control with two goals in the opening 22 minutes and, along with Maro Bonsu-Maro, ended the match with a hat-trick.

Soakai Vea won a penalty for Veitongo after the half hour but lost his cool and was shown a red card.

Family affair for Veitongo

The 38-year-old father Halapua has had a football career spanning back to the ‘90s and is glad to be able to pass on his knowledge to his son during their Veitongo FC matches.

“It’s a blessing for us,” he said.

“I know my son still has a lot to learn, controlling the ball and knowing the right time to attack it, and I’m glad I’m there with him,” Falepapalangi senior said.

Tongan football champs Veitongo FC expect improved showing

The 2017 hosts finished bottom of the Preliminary competition 12 months ago, losing all three matches against the club champions from Cook Islands, American Samoa and Samoa.

RNZ reports player-coach Kilifi Uele said the team has been training since October and feel much better prepared this time around.

"We have to be more organised to dominate the game. We're preparing the team to be well organised, especially when we are attacking and also defending," he said.

Veitongo defends title in Tonga Major League

Veitongo coach Timote Moleni went into the game with his strongest side, including Fineasi Palei, Samisoni Mafi, Lafaele Moala and other Tonga internationals who have developed as a team through multiple international matches including the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifiers Stage One and the OFC Nations Cup 2016 Preliminary both held in 2015.

''I pulled all my experienced players to this match to be able to give a good game to Marist,” he said.

''The Marist boys are young and fast and they can be dangerous on the field,'' he added.