August 17 – New Zealand’s Auckland City FC have booked a ticket for the Club World Cup after defeating Tahiti’s AS Venus 3-0 to clinch a 10th OFC Champions League.
First-half goals from Cameron Howieson and Gerard Garriga put the Sandringham club in the driving seat in blustery conditions at the Ngahue Reserve before Emiliano Tade’s goal in the 85th minute wrapped up a comfortable win for the New Zealand club against AS Venus, who were playing in the first final ever.
“We absorbed the pressure [in the second half] quite well,” said Auckland coach Albert Riera. “They were always going to go out and push for the goal. As time went on, they got frustrated.”
“Our team showed good credentials for football in Tahiti,” said AS Venus coach Samuel Garcia. “It’s an achievement the club had never managed before, so we are proud but as competitors, you want to go further and win.”
It’s Auckland’s first title since 2017. In 2018 and 2019 they exited at the semi-finals stage before the competition was cancelled due to the global health crisis. The club remain unbeaten in the domestic Northern League and on Sunday they play the Chatham Cup semi-final against Wellington Olympic.
The win ensures that Auckland will represent the region at the Club World Cup next year. It’s the 10th time since 2006 that the club will participate in the Club World Cup.
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