PREVIEW: Rival coaches share views on OFC Men’s Champions League final

Tahiti club AS Pirae will give their all in an effort to take the OFC Men’s Champions League title from defending champions Auckland City, says head coach Vatea Terai.

Speaking to the media on the eve of the tournament final at Tahiti’s Stade Pater, Terai said:

“Auckland City are the big favourites for this tournament. You can talk about 110% but for this final, we’re going to be at 500% to try to and win this trophy.

“We have players in our squad with a lot of international experience.

They will help the team in terms of preparation and also during the match to help the players manage their emotions, so this is a key point that will help us in the final.”

Auckland City head coach Albert Riera acknowledged his side will be seen as favourites but welcomes the pressure that comes with that.

“Any footballer wants to feel this. Once you feel it once, you want to keep going, because football is all about that.

“You know, this positive pressure makes you a better person and a better footballer, I think.”

Whether his side’s approach to Friday’s final will differ from the previous four matches will depend on the perspective.

“You have to be a bit more aggressive in the approach to these games. But again, you also have to think that you might have extra time, so from a coaching point of view, it’s a bit hard, but from a player’s point of view. it’s exactly the same,” he continued.

Main photo: The OFC Champions League trophy with Albert Riera (left) and Vatea Terai. Photo credit: OFC Media / Phototek

Auckland City’s Liam Gillion (left) evades a tackle during the group stages of the tournament. Photo credit: OFC Media / Phototek.

Auckland City booked their place in the final with a 1-0 semi-final victory over AS Magenta, in a tie where the New Zealanders’ experience of big matches paid dividends, controlling proceedings to see out the result.

AS Pirae made sure of their final appearance with an epic semi-final win over Fiji’s Rewa FC.

Having been 1-0 down in the closing stages, two stoppage-time penalties put the Tahiti side in front before a late equaliser forced extra time.

Two goals in the additional 30 minutes were enough for coach Terai’s side to see off Rewa and set up a meeting with the reigning champions.

The prize for winning the OFC Champions League

The winners of the OFC Men’s Champions League will qualify to represent Oceania at a new annual FIFA club competition, the FIFA Intercontinental Cup.

The first staging of the six-club tournament will be in December.

READ MORE: Pathway confirmed for New Zealand clubs in new annual FIFA competition >>>>


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


Games to be played on Saturday May 25, 2024

OFC Men’s Champions League


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

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