Auckland City to learn semi-final opponents by 6pm on Sunday

Auckland City will have to wait till early evening on Sunday (NZT) to learn who they’ll play in Wednesday’s semi-final of the OFC Champions League.

After finishing top of Group A, the Navy Blues will play the runners-up in Group B in Port Vila, Vanuatu, on May 24.

Going into Sunday’s games, any of the four teams could finish first and second in that group to secure semi-final places.

Hekari Unied play AS Pirae at 1pm (NZT) and Tiga Sport meet Ifira Blackbird at 4pm (NZT).

Auckland City were deprived of the chance to play their last pool game on Saturday when Samoa’s Lupe Ole Soaga defaulted because they were unable to field a team due to injuries.

READ MORE: Auckland City’s group game called off ‘due to opposing team’s player injuries’ >>>>

City coach Albert Riera is disappointed his side didn’t get to play but has turned his attention to the semi-finals.

“We would have loved to have played another game in front of these crowds; instead we had a good training session,” he said.

Asked whether a week off between matches would be a positive or a negative for his side, Riera felt it wouldn’t have a detrimental effect.

“We have to find the positive and be flexible, and I believe it will be a positive and we can have two full training sessions before the semi-final.”

Having praised the training facilities and the quality of the playing surface before the tournament, Riera was effusive in his praise for the people of Luganville.

“We have had a great time in Luganville, engaging with the locals and it has been an eye opener the way they love the game. The training facilities and the ground have been spot on and second to none.”


Interview with coach Albert Riera


Games to be played on Sunday May 21, 2023

Hekari United v AS Pirae
Port Vila, 1pm (NZT)
Live stream here >>>>

Tiga Sport v Ifira Blackbird
Port Vila, 4pm (NZT)
Live stream here >>>>


Game to be played on Wednesday May 24, 2023

Auckland City v Runner-Up Group B
Port Vila, 12.30pm (NZT)
Live stream here >>>>

Game to be played on Wednesday May 24, 2023

Winner Group B v Suva
Port Vila, 4pm (NZT)
Live stream here >>>>


Game to be played on Saturday May 27, 2023

VFF Freshwater Stadium, Port Vila, 3pm (NZT)
Live stream here >>>>

READ MORE: Our previous stories about the OFC Champions League >>>>

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