“Impossible is nothing” is the motto Titikaveka will be banking on when it takes giants Tupapa Maraerenga in the premier men’s clash today.
The two teams will meet at 4pm in the Knockout Cup semifinal.
Titikaveka started the 2019 season on a high beating Tupapa, who won the 2018 event in the opening game. But the side was unable to maintain the form losing their other matches.
However Titikaveka managed to finish fourth in the Round Cup Championship to remain in the run for the Knockout Cup title.
Today the side will have to battle tooth and nail in order to repeat their season opening feat.
The news that Tupapa will be missing atleast four of their key players due to injury and other commitments will come as a huge relief for minnows Titikaveka.
Titikaveka player Teariki Piri said their preparation for the upcoming match based on team structure and set piece plays.
“To prepare for this weekend’s match we had to go over our set plays and make sure we take every opportunity given. There is no second chance when playing against Tupapa. Tupapa deserve to be in the top position and they are a very classy side. We have also been focusing on our structure and trying to maintaining that throughout the match as we need to be organised,” Piri said.
“Tupapa have a very good team, experienced players, young talented players, Cook Islands representative and future rep players. They have a well-balanced, structured team. They have been the top team for so many years and so the challenge for us will be within our team, whether we want it more than they do.”
Despite being the favourites, Tupapa have left no stone unturned in a bid to secure their spot in the final.
Tupapa Maraerenga assistant coach Anthony Samuela said: “The semifinals are a different beast; every team has a chance to win and it comes down to who wants it the most and who trains for it the best.
“We have been training for the semis since the end of the round and we will put everything into (today’s) match to hopefully go through to the finals.”
Meanwhile in the women’s clash, Avatiu will face a mammoth task when they take on Tupapa Maraerenga.
Avatiu fought a hard battle last week against Matavera-Ngatangiia to make it through to the semifinal. The team will come out firing against Tupapa in hopes of making it through to the final.
Avatiu’s Piri Murare has played a significant role being a catalyst in attack for her side and holding her ground in defense. She will spearhead the team’s campaign against the mighty Tupapa.
Tupapa coach Tupou Brogan said her side had experience to their advantage but anything could happen in the knockouts.
“We have an experienced and seasoned side who have played with each other for years but we are in the knockouts and nothing can be left to chance. We will come out and play and we will play for the win.”
CIFA complex, Matavera – 12.30pm Under 14 Girls. Puaikura FC-Tupapa Maraerenga FC (Ref: Mata Iroa, Assist: Teretia Teinaki, Penina Katuke), 1.30pm Under 14 Boys. Puaikura FC-Avatiu FC (Ref: Robert Savage, Assist: Kura Smith, Angelina Mitchell), 2.30pm Senior Women. Tupapa Maraerenga FC-Avatiu FC (Ref: Paul Lynch, Assist: Mata Iroa, Tahiri Elikana), 4pm Premier Men Tupapa Maraerenga FC-Titikaveka FC (Ref: Maara Kaukura, Assist: Edmund Tupuna, John Pareanga)