PREVIEW: Auckland City getting to grips with heat and humidity in Tahiti

The weather forecast may offer some relief for Auckland City when they face Papua New Guinea’s Hekari United in their OFC Men’s Champions League fixture on Wednesday.

After playing their tournament opener — a 2-2 draw with Fiji’s Rewa — in 30-degree temperatures, City’s second group game is expected to be played in temperatures in the mid-20s, with an expected 40% cloud cover.

Humidity is forecast to be 60%-69%, which is better than the 80% levels some games are expected to face.

If the forecasts are right, it will certainly help Auckland City, who are still acclimatising to the Tahitian conditions.

After their first game, head coach Albert Reira said the conditions had taken their toll.

“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.”

Main photo: The Auckland City side feeling the heat during a water break in their tournament opener against Rewa. Photo credit: OFC / Phototek.

The game between Auckland City and Hekari kicks off at midday, Tahitian time, which is 10am on Wednesday (NZT).

Hekari United pose a significant threat to Auckland City’s defence of their OFC title, having drawn with the New Zealand team at last year’s tournament and having started this year’s edition with a 6-0 win against Solomon Warriors.

Hekari won the OFC Champions League in 2010, the first team from outside New Zealand or Australia to secure the title.

Head coach David Muta believes his side can improve on last year’s performance, especially after strengthening their squad.

“We can achieve a positive result if we focus and work hard for the tournament,” he said.

READ MORE: Auckland City ‘okay’ with first day point at OFC Champions League in Tahiti >>>>

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


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)


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