Auckland City will play Tahiti’s AS Vènus in the final of the OFC Champions League on Wednesday, with a berth at the next FIFA Club World Cup the prize for the winner.
The Navy Blues reached the final after beating Solomon Islands club Central Coast 2-0 at Ngahue Reserve, Auckland, in their semi-final on Sunday.
City took the lead after 20 minutes when a set piece free kick caught Central Coast flat-footed.
Auckland had won a free kick on the right flank. When the free kick was rolled across the edge of the area by Gerard Garriga, City’s Ryan de Vries struck a seemingly tame shot goalwards and Adam Mitchell diverted it into the net with a clever backheel.
City’s second goal was a thunderbolt from Dylan Manickum who had been causing the Coast defenders problems all game.
Deep into stoppage time, he got free and lashed a shot from 30-metres that flew into the far corner of the net.
Main photo: Manickum hits an unstoppable shot from long-range to wrap up the semi-final in added time.
AS Vènus, who qualified for the Champions League as runners-up in the 2020-21 Tahiti Ligue 1, beat Hienghène Sport 4-0 in the earlier semi-final.
Wednesday’s final will close the 15-match OFC Champions League tournament which has seen eight clubs battling for the right to represent OFC at the FIFA Club World Cup in China.
Games played on Sunday August 14, 2022
Auckland City 2 (Adam Mitchell 20′, Dylan Manickum 90+5′)
Central Coast 0
AS Vénus 4 (Teaonui Tehau 17’, Tauhiti Keck 23’, 79’, Roonui Tehau 27’)
Hienghène Sport 0
Watch replays of both semi-finals
Final of the OFC Champions League
To be played on Wednesday August 17, 2022
Ngahue Reserve, Stonefield, Auckland, 2pm
Auckland City v AS Vènus