PREVIEW: Auckland United ‘inspired’ by home support as they go into final

Auckland United captain Talisha Green wants her team to repay the support they’re getting from friends and families in New Zealand as they go into Saturday’s OFC Women’s Champions League final.

“It’s very inspiring seeing what’s happening back home and what the club are putting on for us in terms of support. It’s really cool to see your mum, dad, family, friends, everyone watching and supporting you,” Green says.

Auckland United have been hosting screenings of their team’s games at their Keith Hay Park headquarters, and supporters will be willing the side on in the final.

United play Papua New Guinea’s Hekari United in the final at the Solomon Islands National Stadium, Honiara, kicking off at 5pm (NZT).

“It’s been a challenging process to get here, it’s been quite long, but we’re glad to be here. We are really excited and pumped for the final, and really want to give it our all,” Green told OFC Media.

Main photo: Hekari United captain Marie Kaipu  (left) and Auckland United’s Talisha Green. Photo credit: OFC Media / Phototek.

From left, Ericson Komeng, Marie Kaipu, Talisha Green and Ben Bate. Photo credit: OFC Media / Phototek.

Auckland United head coach Ben Bate believes the challenge of a competitive final will benefit his young squad.

“It’s about continually building for us. We’re trying to do the best to develop these young players,” he said.

“Development is a huge part of what we’re about, and with that obviously becomes these opportunities as well.

“There’s another final tomorrow, it’s another great opportunity to get our girls in front of the TV cameras and have that experience so that hopefully if they do go into qualifiers or professional environments, it’s not a new thing for them, they can adjust seamlessly and jump straight in.”

Hekari United head coach Ericson Momeng said: “To get here is a dream come true for the team. We were short last year, but to make it tomorrow against Auckland United is a dream come true for the team.

“The round-robin [format from 2023], playing in groups last year was tough as you have to compete in all the games to be at the top. I think the experience that we got last year helped to push us this time.”

How to watch

The game will be streamed live and free by FIFA+. Follow the link below to watch.


Game to be played on Saturday March 23, 2024

Hekari United v Auckland United
National Stadium, Honiara, 5pm (NZT)

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