Oceania: Auckland City successfully defend O-League crown
Auckland City are Oceania football champions for the fourth time following a single goal second leg victory over Tahitian side Tefana FC today which sealed a 3-1 aggregate win.
The New Zealand side were already defending the O-League trophy which they won last year and were made to work hard over the two legs by a Tefana team who were largely unfancied at the start of the tournament, especially after they lost their first Group A match 10-0 at the hands of Auckland’s compatriots Waitakere United.
Auckland City won the first leg 2-1 at home but the away goal for Tefana meant that the Tahitians maintained some hope of upsetting the odds to take the title in much the same way that Papua New Guineans Hekari United had done in 2010. Sadly for Tefana the dream faded away once Manel Exposito gave Auckland City a 1-0 lead just four minutes before the half-time break in the second leg, a score line which didn’t change and which secured the Kiwis a 3-1 aggregate triumph.
For Auckland City it is their fourth continental title in six years and puts them in the draw alongside 2012 CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey CF for the FIFA Club World Cup which will be played in Japan later this year.