Teams in final despite not securing wins
Auckland City FC and Amicale will meet in the final of the OFC Champions League despite both teams being unable to win at the weekend.
Reigning champions Auckland did it the hard way at Stade Pater in Tahiti, and were grateful for having established the 3-0 advantage in last week’s first leg at Kiwitea St against AS Pirae.
The home side struck the vital early goal they needed just four minutes into the second leg from the boot of Jimmy Tepa.
That gave AS Pirae the boost they needed and five minutes before halftime they doubled their advantage through Naea Bennett to close within a goal of City.
But right on halftime Auckland City drove a dagger through Tahitian hearts when Joao Moreira netted a priceless away goal meaning Pirae had to score three times in the second spell to deny City a record fourth successive grand final appearance.
The task proved too much for AS Pirae, although it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Five minutes after Darren White had been sent off for committing his second bookable offence, Tepa had the ball in the net again, but his stoppage time effort was ruled out.
That confirmed City as 4-2 winners on aggregate, although they were beaten 2-1 on the night.
Amicale booked their spot in the grand final by holding off the challenge from their Fijian rivals Ba at a sold-out Port Vila Municipal Stadium match. Neither team could find the back of the net with the game ending in a nil-all draw sending Amicale to the final.
Amicale will host the first leg of the final on Saturday, with the second leg at Kiwitea St on May 18.
The winner over two legs will represent Oceania at the FIFA Club World Cup Finals in December.