Auckland City ‘okay’ with first day point at OFC Champions League in Tahiti

Auckland City head coach Albert Reira says he’s “okay” with a point from his side’s opening match at the OFC Men’s Champions League in Tahiti.

After drawing 2-2 with Fiji’s Rewa, Reira said: “I thought the players did very well.

“A point is an okay result as long as we win the next one.

“I have to have to be happy with the effort. They gave everything. They are all very tired.”

Reira said the 30+ degree heat and high humidity made it difficult for a New Zealand team to adjust to the local conditions.

“I would invite every team in New Zealand to come here and play just a friendly game — just five minutes — and they could glimpse what it’s like.”

After 65 minutes, Auckland City trailed 2-1 to Rewa but found an equaliser through Ryan De Vries.

READ MORE: Rewa give defending champs Auckland City scare at OFC Champions League >>>>

Watch Albert Reira interview in full

Auckland City’s next game is against Group A leader Hekari United on Wednesday May 15 at 10am (NZT).

Hekari United scored twice in the second half to secure a vital victory over Solomon Warriors in their opening match at the tournament.

Frank Ne’e’s side had the better of the opening 45 minutes and will feel they should have done better with the chances they created.

Captain Gagame Feni was guilty of squandering a number of opportunities to give his side a precious lead.

The pacey forward had the best chance of the first half just before the half hour mark, making the most of Hekari United’s high backline to sprint in behind but could only fire straight at goalkeeper Dave Tomare when one-on-one.

The Papua New Guinea side had a half chance towards the end of the first period, but Erick Joe could only slice his effort wide from a tight angle in the penalty area.

Photo credit: OFC Media / Phototek.

Hekari United came alive in the second half, creating a number of chances as Solomon Warriors began to fade.

Only two minutes were on the clock in the second 45 when Yagi Yasasa conjured a stunning volley from the edge of the area. Seemingly goal-bound, Timothy Maearasia leapt to his right and spectacularly tipped the ball over the bar to keep the score level.

The breakthrough came on the 70th minute, courtesy of Ati Kepo. The forward fired an unstoppable effort into the top corner, in off the post.

Main photo: Hekari United scored second half goals to take the three points. Photo credit: OFC Media / Phototek.

A crucial second arrived in the 82nd minute. Substitute Rex Naime — who had missed a good chance earlier in the half — found himself in a similar position and made no mistake the second time around, calmly slotting past the keeper to put the result beyond doubt.

With the earlier match between Rewa FC and Auckland City FC finishing 2-2, Hekari United are now in the box seat in Group A as they seek a semi-final berth.


Games played on Sunday May 12, 2024

Group A

Rewa 2 (Josaia Sela 62′, 65′)
Auckland City 2 (Cam Howieson 50′, Ryan De Vries 67′)

READ MORE: Rewa give defending champs Auckland City scare at OFC Champions League >>>>

Solomon Warriors 0
Hekari United 2 (Ati Kepo 70′, Rex Naime 82′)


Games to be played on Wednesday May 15, 2024

Auckland City v Hekari United
Papeete, Tahiti, 10am (NZT)

Solomon Warriors v Rewa
Papeete, Tahiti, 1pm (NZT)

More football stories