By ISAAC LIRI
PAPUA New Guinea Football Association acting president John Wesley Gonjuan is appealing to the public to support the PNG Kapuls in their first World Cup qualifier against Tahiti on Thursday.
Gonjuan said the road to next year’s showcase starts for PNG with four home-and-away games against Tahiti and the Solomon Islands.
After the match at the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby, the Kapuls will travel to Papeete to take on the French Polynesians next Tuesday.
PNG will meet the Solomons in June, with the date, time and venue yet to be confirmed by the Oceania Football Confederation.
Grouped in Pool B, Tahiti and the Solomons have registered one win and one loss in their home-and-away fixtures late last year.
For the Kapuls, Gonjuan said his players had trained well this year and he was confident the Fleming Serristlev-coached side had the ability to deliver.
“Winning the first match is important. Winning it will ease the pressure going to Tahiti next week,” Gonjuan said.
“We need to get at least 20,000 people in the Sir John Guise Stadium and we will be counting on the newly-launched PNG Football Supporters Club to take the lead, with the rest of the country backing up.”
Gonjuan said the home-game against the Solomon Islands in June will be played in Lae to give something back to the community in Lae, considering the Morobean capital was one of the strongholds of football in PNG.
“If we win our matches, we will be qualified to play the winners of pool A which consists of Fiji, New Zealand and New Caledonia,” he said. Gonjuan said if PNG beat the winners of Pool A, they will have the opportunity to play the fifth-placed country in the South American Confederation which is currently Argentina.
By ISAAC LIRI