Auckland City crowned OFC Champions for 12th time after win in Tahiti

Auckland City have won the OFC Men’s Champions League for a record-extending 12th time after a 4-0 victory over Tahiti’s AS Pirae.

As winners of the title, Auckland City will 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 >>>>

Main photo: Auckland City … champions again. Photo credit: OFC Media / Phototek.

Head coach Albert Riera’s side, also looking to make it three triumphs on the spin, were in clinical form, scoring twice in the first half to set them on their way in front of a partisan home crowd at Stade Pater, Papeete.

The host nation side started the brighter, with the energetic Désiré Ngiamba a constant menace to Auckland City down their left side.

Nathan Lobo was particularly troubled by Ngiamba, receiving a yellow card for a shirt pull as the full-back threatened to break free.

As they have done so many times this campaign, the New Zealand side made it count when given their opportunities.

Only six minutes were on the clock when Adam Mitchell nodded down Cam Howieson’s free-kick and Michael Den Heijer was on hand to side-foot into the net.

Pirae responded positively to the setback but for all their possession, were struggling to break down Auckland City’s well-drilled rearguard.

Photo credit: OFC Media / Phototek.

A moment of brilliance from midfielder Gerard Garriga doubled the defending champions’ lead on the half-hour mark.

The Spaniard’s through ball split the Pirae defence, and found Liam Gillion, and the winger made no mistake in rounding Francois Decoret and burying the ball into the empty net.

The second period was only three minutes old when Auckland City put the result all but beyond doubt.

Stipe Ukich – Player of the Match in his side’s semi-final victory over AS Magenta – cut in from the left, creating space for himself before deftly clipping a right-footed effort into the far corner to make it 3-0.

Just over ten minutes later and the champions added a fourth.

Cam Howieson’s free-kick from the left flying over the grasp of Decoret in the AS Pirae goal and onto the head of central defender Christian Gray, who nodded home from a couple of metres out.

For all their effort, AS Pirae continued to struggle to test Conor Tracey in the Auckland City goal.

Ngiamba kept working hard, with an effort from just inside the box landing narrowly over the top of the bar.

Captain Alvin Tehau was next up to threaten, latching onto a deflected pass before hitting the outside of the post from a tight angle.

Heirauarii Salem followed that with a curled effort, fizzing just over the bar as the Tahitian side looked to give the home crowd something to cheer.

It wasn’t to be for Pirae, as Auckland City’s structure and intensity proved too difficult a barrier to break down, another sign of their champion credentials.

Auckland City goalscorers Liam Gillion (left) and Stipe Ukich. Photo credit: OFC Media / Phototek.


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


Game played on Saturday May 25, 2024

OFC Men’s Champions League


Auckland City 4 (Michael Den Heijer 6’, Liam Gillion 30’, Stipe Ukich 48’, Christian Gray 59′)
AS Pirae 0

More football stories