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OFC showdown

Rashneel Kumar
Thursday, April 24, 2014

FINALLY they let go of David Moyes.

Must be a relief for many disappointed Manchester United fans but some still believe the former Everton boss deserved another season at Old Trafford.

Well, after a disastrous season, I wouldn't mind him getting the boot.

Moyes, who took over from Sir Alex Ferguson in July last year, may be effective with teams with shoestring budget, he doesn't seem to be ready for the big boys yet.

I think the Glazers made a good decision but that will depend on who they will bring in next season. Louis van Gaal is highly tipped to take over and given the outgoing Holland mentor's success with top clubs like Barcelona and Bayern Munich, he looks such as the right man to bring United back on track.

In the local football circle, it is Fiji's "Manchester United", Ba, which is making headlines as the side prepares for the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Champions League first leg semi-final match against Amicale FC.

The Men in Black will host the side from Vanuatu this Sunday at 1pm.

In experience wise, Ba has enjoyed more success in the regional competition having played five times with this year marking their sixth outing.

The team's best finish in the competition was in 2007 when it lost the final on the away goals rule to Waitakere United.

Ba was placed third in the group stages in 2008, 2009 and 2012 and last year, the team reached the semi-finals losing to Auckland City 1-7 on aggregate in the home and away series. However, Amicale has a slight edge over Ba given their impressive performance in the group stage where they defeated defending champions Auckland City 1-0, finishing on top of the group with maximum points.

The team will be boosted with the return of Alick Maemae from suspension and with Fijians Ilaitia Tuilau and Esava Naqeleca on their side, Ba needs to be wary of them this weekend.

Coach Yogendra Dutt had used different combinations and players in the group stage which will surely keep Amicale guessing.

A perfect plan with a strong defensive structure should work well for Ba.

Amicale has some very good attacking players and any laxity in Ba defence will cost the team dearly.

Ba has to win without conceding any goals. And if the team can do that, the OFC Champions League final berth will be just a step away.

All the best (to both Manchester United and Ba)!





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