Auckland City are one win away from going to another FIFA Club World Cup but coach Albert Riera says the team needs to be at their best to make it happen.
Ahead of their Saturday OFC Champions League final against Fiji’s Suva, Riera told his club’s website:
“We have to be at our absolute best, defending every situation because what has been proved throughout the competition (is) that any mistake from any situation you believe us not dangerous, you can concede a goal, so we will have to get better in those moments.”
Riera’s comments follow a semi-final win against Vanuatu’s Ifira Black Bird in which the Navy Blues trailed 0-2 before they clawed their way into extra time with an equaliser in stoppage time.
City needed a penalty shoot-out to overcome 10-man Ifira and claim their final berth against Suva, who also needed extra time before disposing of Tahiti’s AS Pirae in the other semi-final.
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“We will be trying to dominate the game with the ball. It’s what we want to do,” Riera said. “It’s what has given us success in the past.
“Everyone is highly motivated; everyone is very well prepared.
“Hopefully, we can make everyone proud and achieve something we have been desiring for so long, which is winning another Oceania Champions League.”
Game to be played on Saturday May 27, 2023
OFC Champions League
Auckland City v Suva
VFF Freshwater Stadium, Port Vila, 3pm (NZT)