December 7, 2023

Lupe outclass everyone in OCL qualifier

Lupe Ole Soaga celebrate advancing in the 2023 OFC Champions League qualifiers. (Photo: Lupe Ole Soaga media)

Lupe Ole Soaga have qualified for the main stage of the OFC Champions League after three solid matches.

The Samoan side ended their three game qualifying stage with a goal difference of +28, scoring 29 goals and only letting in one.

They started the qualifiers with a 13-0 thumping of Ilaoa and To’omata from neighbouring American Samoa, before beating Tongan side Veitongo 9-0.

That set up a final winner-takes-all-match with Tupapa Maraerenga, who had also won their first two games, with only one team advancing to the main stage.

And in that game Lupe took charge early, with Jared Cunniff scoring after 23 minutes.

The game was an even affair from then on, until ten minutes out in the second half, where Lupe turned it up a notch.

Darren Alatina Talilai scored after 55 minutes, with Jamie Mason adding a third in the 63rd.

Lawrie Letutusa and Michael Tumua Leo extended Lupe’s lead in the 79th and 81st minute.

Silas Trego scored a consolation goal in the 87th for Tupapa, before Arona Matau finished it all off in the final minute of play, for a solid 7-1 win for Lupe.

That means Lupe enters the main stage of the OCL, scheduled for later this year, with seven other OFC nation sides.

PS: Due to heavy rain and a cyclone warning, the OFC decided to cancel the final round match between Ilaoa and Veitongo to make sure the decisive match between Lupe and Tupapa took place.

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