29 Aug 2015

Sport: Tonga confident ahead of Oceania World Cup qualifiers

10:03 am on 29 August 2015

Tonga football coach Timote Moleni is confident home advantage can work in their favour at next week's Oceania World Cup qualifying tournament in Nuku'alofa.

The hosts will vie with American Samoa, Samoa and Cook Islands for a spot in next year's Oceania Nations Cup.

Moleni will preside over a new-look squad, with only half a dozen players backing up from the last qualifiers four years ago.

Despite being thrashed 5-0 by Fiji last week in their only warm-up clash, Moleni believes his team can go all the way.

"Some of the players here are unavailable to participate in our team but for me it's good to raise up the new players for the future of the Tongan Football Association. I'm very very confident and I hope we win the competition. We expect to win - especially for our supporters to come and support our team in our country".

Tonga open their campaign against Cook Islands on Monday, with American Samoa and Samoa also squaring off in the first round.