In repeat of last year’s showdown, defending champions Tupapa Maraerenga will play Nikao Sokattak in the premier men’s CIFA Cup final at 4pm today.
Last year, Tupapa made a stunning comeback from a 2-0 deficit to win 2-3.
Nikao Sokattak coach Alex Napa said they were hoping to turn the results around this year.
“Knockout football is always exciting. There are no second games to come back from, so anything can happen on the day. Barring any misfortune between now and the opening whistle, we enter the knockout competition with our full strength complement of players that have played our best games during the season,” Napa said.
Napa is hopeful of Nikao’s chances, “I think this year more than last year, we are better prepared for this game. Our young team from last year has matured a bit more, and stronger, but our preparation hasn’t changed if anything it’s about reaffirming what we do well and try to limit Tupapa’s chances and strengths.”
Tupapa assistant coach Anthony Samuela said: “We are looking forward to this match and are keen to come out and play some good final’s football. We haven’t made changes to our preparation as our style of play has worked for us for just about the whole of the season and so we are focused on playing our game.”
“We are coming to defend our title today and we will be playing to win.”
In the women’s final, defending champions Titikaveka will take on giants Tupapa Maraerenga.
Titikaveka have been in a good form, especially in the third round and the knockouts, recording eight wins’ in nine matches.
Tupapa on the other hand are eager to turn the tables around after losing the Cup last year.
Tupapa coach Tupou Brogan said: “It’s the final, everyone wants to win and no one wants to lose. Today we will play for the win and we will be aiming for the double, the Round Cup and the CIFA Cup.”
CIFA competition manager Pauline Dean is expecting exciting tussles between the teams in the final.
12.30pm Under 14 Girls Puaikura FC-Matavera FC (Ref: Robert Savage Assist: Ua Savage, Penina Katuke, 4th Official: Mata Iroa); 1.30pm Under 14 Boys Puaikura FC-Tupapa Maraerenga FC (Ref: Tahiri Elikana, Assist: Kura Smith, Junior Savage, 4th Official: John Pareanga), 2.30pm Senior Women Tupapa Maraerenga FC-Titikaveka FC (Ref: Lai Gukisuva, Assist: Mata Iroa, Robert Savage, 4th Official: Kura Smith), 4pm Premier Men Tupapa Maraerenga FC-Nikao Sokattak FC (Ref: Maara Kaukura, Assist: John Pareanga, Edmund Tupuna, 4th Official: Lai Gukisuva)