OFC: Auckland City and Amicale FC to meet in Champions League final
New Zealand’s Auckland City will be the favourites going into the 2010-11 OFC Champions League after completing their Group B campaign with a 5-0 drubbing of AS Tefana today. In Group A defeat for Vanuatu’s Amicale FC proved academic as they still finished top of the standings in order to qualify for the final in their first ever tournament appearance.
Five different players got on the score sheet for Auckland City as they easily disposed of the weak challenge provided by French Polynesian side AS Tefana. Ivan Vicelich and Daniel Koprivcic got the goals as the Aucklanders went in 2-0 up at the break with Andrew Milne, Ian Hogg and Albert Vidal hitting the back of the net in the second half. Two-time champions Auckland finished six points ahead of compatriots Waitakere United who finished their campaign with a 2-1 win at home to AS Magenta. The side from New Caledonia took the lead after half an hour through Benjamin Longue only for Ryan de Vries to restore parity sixty seconds later. The winning goal for Waitakere came three minutes before full time thanks to Allan Pearce but the win was too little, too late for United who can now fully concentrate on defending their national title in the coming weeks.
Group A proved to be a much tighter affair with just four points separating league leaders Amicale FC from bottom placed Hekari United. The latter, who became the first team from outside Australia and New Zealand to win the title last year, have disappointed this time around and could only salvage a 1-1 draw from their final match at home to Fijians Lautoka FC with a late goal in second half stoppage time from Andrew Setefano rescuing a point after Peni Finau had given the visitors a 38th minute lead. Group winners Amicale FC could even afford to lose their final match of the group phase after Joses Nawo scored the only goal of the game in the 83rd minute for Solomon Islands representatives Koloale FC. Despite defeat Amicale FC finished top of the standings with ten points, one ahead of Koloale and two ahead of Lautoka FC with last season’s champions propping up the rest on six points.
The two legs of this year’s OFC Champions League final will be played on April 2nd & April 16th.