19 Mar 2011

Fiji's Lautoka's final hopes hanging by a thread

10:20 am on 19 March 2011

The group stages of football's Oceania Champions League conclude today with Lautoka still a faint chance to qualify for next month's grand final.

Auckland City have already booked their place, as winners of Group B, while competition newcomers Amicale FC lead Group A by three points.

Lautoka need a sizeable win over defending champions Hekari United, in Port Moresby, and to hope Amicale slip up by a similar scoreline at Koloale.

The Lautoka club President, Shalendra Prasad, says after leading their group through the early rounds they only have themselves to blame.

"It was out fault that we had two big losses - one at home and one against Amicale, so that was the downfall for the Lautoka Football Club in this current O-League. We'll keep on moving and it was good to see that we have qualified for third time for the O-League from Fiji and then next time we'll try to do our homework a better way."

In the day's other fixtures Auckland City will tune up for their finals appearance by hosting Tahitian club Tefana while Waitakere United host New Caledonia's Magenta.

Meanwhile Lautoka have already qualified for next season's O-League competition after a protest filed against Rewa was upheld by the Fiji Football Association last week.

The FFA agreed that Rewa had fielded a player with a forged International Transfer Certificate during their national football league match in May last year and awarded Lautoka the winning points from the match.

That was enough to see Lautoka usurp original winners Ba from the top of last year's NFL standings and qualify for the 2011-12 O-League competition.