Tahiti side need extra time to join Auckland City in OFC Champions League final

Tahiti’s AS Pirae will play in the OFC Men’s Champions League final after a semi-final for the ages against Fiji’s Rewa at Stade Pater.

Two late penalties — both scored in second-half stoppage time — seemed enough to send coach Vatea Terai’s side into the final before a 99th-minute goal from Rewa forced extra time.

AS Pirae struck twice in extra time to ensure they will face Auckland City on Saturday (NZT) in the OFC Men’s Champions League final.

Main photo: Joy for AS Pirae … the Tahiti club will play in Saturday’s final. Photo credit: OFC Media / Phototek.

READ MORE: Auckland City book place in final of OFC Men’s Champions League >>>>

As expected, the opening exchanges were fast and frenetic, with both sides keen to stamp their authority on proceedings early on.

Sandro Tau was presented with a golden opportunity inside 10 minutes to give the home crowd something to cheer but he headed wide while unmarked from a Désiré Ngiamba cross.

Rewa nearly responded immediately. Josaia Sela — a constant goal threat all campaign — found himself one-on-one with Francois Decoret but the goalkeeper did well to smother Sela’s efforts to beat him.

Photo credit: OFC Media / Phototek.

Little more than half an hour had elapsed when Rewa’s Valevou was fouled in the area by Taumihau Tiatia after miscontrolling the ball.

Referee Matthew Conger pointed to the spot before Joseph stepped up and confidently slotted home, low to the goalkeeper’s right.

AS Pirae’s tempo ticked up a notch in the second period, with Ariiura Labaste going close, set up by captain Alvin Tehau.

The forward’s shot, however, was straight at ‘keeper Isikeli Sevanaia.

Head coach Vatea Terai ran in the changes during the second half, but despite dominating much of the possession and territory in the second 45 minutes, his side struggled to create clear-cut chances.

With the match ticking into added time, the host side finally got their equaliser.

Désiré Ngiamba worked space on the right, and his cross struck the arm of the Rewa defender, with the referee awarding the spot-kick. Ngiamba himself took the kick and confidently smashed it home.

Minutes later, a second penalty was awarded to AS Pirae and again, Ngiamba assumed responsibility.

Showing nerves of steel to score, he shot into the same corner and completed the turnaround.

With the match seemingly won, Rewa managed one last Herculean effort to force extra time.

Samu Kautoga rose to powerfully head home with 99 minutes on the clock and ensure another 30 minutes would be needed to settle the contest.

Fiji’s Rewa pushed AS Pirae all the way, forcing extra time in the semi-final. Photo credit: OFC Media / Phototek.

Eight minutes into extra time and AS Pirae got themselves back in front for a second time.

A well-worked move ended with the ball being laid back to substitute Patrick Tepa, and his low effort flashed in at the near post to make it 3-2.

The win and a place in the final was made secure with just under ten minutes remaining in extra time.

A delivery from the left side of Rewa’s box was turned into his own net by defender Peniame Drova.


We are grateful for the help of OFC Media in providing the information for this story.


Games played on Thursday May 23, 2024 (NZT)


Auckland City 1 (Stipe Ukich 66′)
AS Magenta 0

AS Pirae 4 (Désiré Ngiamba 90′ pen, 90+6′ pen, Patrick Tepa 98′, own goal 111′)
Rewa 2 (Patrick Joseph 35′ pen, Samu Kautoga 90+9′)
*After extra time


Game to be played on Saturday May 25, 2024 (NZT)


Auckland City v AS Pirae
Stade Pater, Papeete, Tahiti, 4pm (NZT)

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