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History beckons in football finale

Monday December 18, 2017 Written by Published in Soccer
Calm before the storm … Tupapa Maraerenga skipper Moari Allsworth (left) with her Titikaveka counterpart Claudean Robati. 17121522 Calm before the storm … Tupapa Maraerenga skipper Moari Allsworth (left) with her Titikaveka counterpart Claudean Robati. 17121522

History beckons for the Titikaveka women’s side in the CIFA knockout cup final at the CIFA Complex in Matavera today.

 

Titikaveka will be hoping to get the monkey off its back by winning the women’s title against the mighty Tupapa Maraerenga side in the match, which starts at 2.30pm.

The team last won the title several years ago and is keen to finally end the long-standing winless spell.

Titikaveka defeated former champions and Round Cup winners Nikao Sokattak 1-0 in the semi-final last week to make it into the showdown.

The side hopes to slay another giant in Tupapa Maraerenga this weekend.

Team skipper Claudean Robati said they had lost some senior players, including Edwina Matenga and Ani Piri to personal commitments, but have enough depth in the squad to fill in the void.

She said Tupapa Maraerenga would be a tough side to beat.

“We went out to win (against Nikao) because we wanted to be in the grand final this year. Like every other team, we had our highs and lows this season but we are proud to be the only team from our club in the final,” Robati said.

“Our team has worked really hard this season and I believe we deserve to be in the grand finale.

“And I thank our coach Theresa Tatuava and manager Tia Prasad for believing in us, for the hard work they put towards this team and for their time and dedication.”

Titikaveka and Tupapa Maraerenga met twice this season, with the latter winning one match and the other clash ending in a draw.

Tupapa Maraerenga has a formidable squad led by skipper and goalkeeper Moari Allsworth.

The dual midfield partnership of veteran Mii Piri and Elizabeth Harmon will be key for the side, aided by the speed of young striker Moeroa Harmon and unpredictable young and upcoming star Natalia Viking.

In defence, coach/player Tupou Patia will lead the charge.

Skipper Allsworth said the match was “very important” especially after losing the League Championship to Nikao Sokattak by one point.

“We expect (Titikaveka) to be very, very strong as they were only a point behind us during the League and because we won the Preseason tournament, Titikaveka will be coming out very strong to ensure they win a silverware in 2017.”

While the women’s clash is expected to be a cracker, all eyes will be on the premier men’s final between defending champions Puaikura and Takuvaine.

Puaikura came through to the final after shocking Tupapa Maraerenga, while Takuvaine defeated Nikao Sokattak in the other semis last week.

Striker Pekay Edwards, who scored the winning goal last week, will spearhead Puaikura’s attack alongside Conroy Tiputoa, Paavo Mustonen and Kimiora Samuela.

Their defence, led by the young Jarvis Aperau, has withstood severe assault and will be ready to shield another barrage of attack in the final match of the season.

The Tave Tereapii-led Takuvaine side will be no pushover as they have proven their worth in the knockout competition with some tough wins.

The boys from the valley will rely on the striking power of Peni Kitiona, Jason and Thomas Potoru to guide them through to a win.

The knockout finals will kick off at 12.30pm with the under-14 girls division, followed by U14 boys at 1.30pm, women’s final at 2.30pm and the men’s at 4pm.      

Fixtures

CIFA complex, Matavera – 12.30pm Under 14 Girls Nikao Sokattak FC-Puaikura FC (Ref: Amnish Prasad, Assist: Dora Iripa, Geneva Miles); 

1.30pm Under 14 Boys Tupapa Maraerenga FC-Nikao Sokattak FC (Ref: John Pareanga, Assist: Kura Smith, Pierce Iripa); 2.30pm Senior Women Tupapa Maraerenga FC-Titikaveka FC (Ref: Lai Gukisuva  Assist: Noel Mani, Maara Kaukura); 4pm Premier Men Puaikura FC-Takuvaine FC (Ref: Maara Kaukura, Assist: John Pareanga, Robert Savage)