Words: ACFC Media
Friday 12 August 2022
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Gerard Garriga's wait for his OFC Champions League debut is over and now the midfielder has his sights set on the semi-finals.
Auckland City FC's journey to the last four of the OFC Champions League looked shakey on Thursday when Nikao Sokattak's Stephen Willis gave the Cook Islanders a shock 1-0 lead after 39 minutes at Ngahue Reserve last Thursday.
Step forward Garriga who blasted home a swerving, dipping, volley that gave Stephen Elikana, Nikao's jocular goalkeeper, no chance as City drew level.
Garriga was in the thick of the action in the second half when he snatched his second of the game and paved the way for further goals from youngsters Joe Lee and Matt Ellis.
"It means a lot to me to win the OFC Player of the Match award. We have to be ready to do whatever our coach asks of us. Today he gave opportunities to the players who haven't played much and we tried to do our best and get the result which is most important and to be ready for the semi-final.
"The first goal I scored was the equaliser after they had scored and we should've been better but I'm happy with two goals because I've been waiting for this moment to play in this competition for a long time and now we are here.
"To play in this competition and score two goals makes me pleased and glad," he said.
Auckland City FC face Solomon Islands' Central Coast in the OFC Champions League semi-final on Sunday 14 August 2022 at 2.30pm NZDT at Ngahue Reserve.
The match will be live streamed through www.oceaniafootball.com website.
v Wellington Olympic, 11 March 2023, KO: TBC