Tonga's national beach soccer team will be making their international debut against Tahiti today at the Oceania nations cup in French Polynesia.
Tahiti made a big statement in their opening match thumping Vanuatu 8-2 yesterday in a spectacular display of aerial passing, flicks and scissor kicks.
Speaking after yesterday's match the Tiki Toa coach Naea Bennett says they are wary of Tonga, having never played them before, and aim to be at their best for the match.
"We take this game tomorrow seriously so I will need the boys to concentrate 100 percent and to play the game like we are used to," Naea Bennett said.
Tonga's captain Sione Takelo told OFC TV his team are excited to show what they can do on the sand and will not be cowed by the two-time FIFA World Cup runners up.
"I am so excited and cannot wait to start the game to see what my team have been training for. We are not afraid to play against Tahiti we just want to bring it on we will fight until the end of the game," said Sione Takelo.
Before Tonga take on Tahiti at 4pm local time the Solomon Islands will play Vanuatu at 2 in what is expected to be an evenly matched Melanesian affair.
Solomon Islands are chasing their second win after narrowly beating New Caledonia 2-0 yesterday. The Bilikiki coach Gideon Omokirio says he expects a tough match.
"We will work through some weakness areas that we identified...especially the finishing at the final stage. With Vanuatu it is always tough and we treat all the games in this qualifying round like a final," said Gideon Omokirio,"
Vanuatu will be hoping to erase the memory of their 8-2 drubbing at the hands of Tahiti, their coach Wilson Marango says they watched Solomon Islands match against New Caledonia and he believes his team is up to the task.
"It looks like they are the same as us. It will be an even match. We will try our best, I told the boys already we have to try our best to beat them," Wilson Marango said.
As well as regional bragging rights the tournament winner will secure themselves a spot at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup later this year in Paraguay.