24 Feb 2018

Sport: Samoa's Lupe Ole Soaga seeking major improvements

11:59 am on 24 February 2018

Lupe Ole Soaga believe improvements are needed across the park if they're to progress any further in the OFC Champions League.

The Samoan domestic winners finished second in last month's qualifying tournament in Pago Pago, behind Tupapa Maraerenga, to advance to the main draw.

Lupe Ole Soaga are on the verge of back to back OFC Champions League appearances.

Lupe Ole Soaga are back in the Champions League main draw. Photo: Oceania Football Confederation (OFC)

Their only slip-up was a 1-0 defeat against the Cook Islands club, where they were reduced to ten men.

Coach Paul Ualesi said discipline remains a key focus.

"Trying to get the boys to work as a team. For now we're still working hard for the discipline - that's the main thing that we need to improve from the first round, that's an area that we're trying to work," he said.

"Even the defence as well, we're trying to improve that for this kind of tournament because we know this is a really tough pool."

Lupe Ole Soaga coach Paul Ualesi.

Lupe Ole Soaga coach Paul Ualesi. Photo: OFC / Alain Vartane

Lupe Ole Soaga finished without a win during last season's Champions League group stage.

Two of their defeats were by only one goal, including against the group winners AS Magenta from New Caledonia, who they play first up in Honiara this afternoon.

"We've got some experience from them (in) the last year's O-League, compared for this year."

"The boys are already stepping up a little bit for the speed of the game and the confidence so now we know some areas that we need to counter our game for AS Magenta, but we are trying our best to be good from a different area like our defence side and our attacking side," he said.

Lupe Ole Soaga celebrate a goal against AS Magenta.

Lupe Ole Soaga celebrate a goal against AS Magenta in 2017. Photo: OFC / Alain Vartane

Following the Group D opener in Honiara, hosts Marist FC take on last season's runners-up Team Wellington at Lawson Tama Stadium.

Group C gets underway on Sunday with reigning champions and hosts Auckland City up against Fiji's Lautoka FC and Papua New Guinea's Madang FC taking on AS Venus from Tahiti.