Auckland City will compete in the FIFA Club World Cup again after being crowned the winners of the OFC Champions League for the 10th time.
The Navy Blues overpowered Tahitian club AS Vènus 3-0 in the final of the 15-match OFC tournament, held at Auckland’s Ngahue Reserve.
The win was crafted through a clinical game plan that ensured Auckland City dominated possession and built attacks from the back.
The Tahitians struggled to contain the pressure exerted on them and the first break came after 11 minutes when City were awarded a penalty when a defender barrelled a blue-shirted player at a corner.
The Venus players played mind games for a couple of minutes trying to delay the taking of the spot kick, aiming to unnerve City skipper Cam Howieson.
But the All Whites midfielder calmly slotted the ball into the corner of the net, giving City the lead after 13 minutes.
The Aucklanders doubled their lead on the half-hour when Gerard Garriga finished a move, tapping the ball into an empty net.
In the second half, the drizzle set in and both teams knuckled down for a tense finish.
The Tahitians pushed forward in search of a comeback; Auckland soaked up any pressure and responded with more possession and patience.
As the game entered its 88th minute, City striker Emiliano Tade, who came off the bench in the 62nd minute, made sure of the result with a late finish, his 13th goal in 2022.
The celebrations began at the final whistle, with City confirming their 10th OFC Champions League title.
The club has now been champions in 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2022.
On Sunday (August 21), Auckland will regroup for their Chatham Cup semi-final against Wellington Olympic as they seek that trophy to complete a dream trophy treble.
Game played on Wednesday August 17, 2022
Auckland City 3 (Cam Howieson 13′ pen, Gerard Garriga 29′, Emiliano Tade 88′)
AS Vènus 0
Watch the game in full