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Winner to take all in Oceania showdown

Words: ACFC Media

Tuesday 16 August 2022

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - The scene is set as Auckland City FC take on AS Venus of Tahiti in the OFC Champions League final at Ngahue Reserve tomorrow at 2.00pm NZDT.

The winner of the final earns passage to the next FIFA Club World Cup thought to be pencilled in for next February 2023 but there is so much more at stake.

Auckland City FC - Five years since last Oceania title win

For Auckland City FC tomorrow's final is their tenth in OFC Champions League history but its first since 2017 when they defeated Team Wellington 5-0 on aggregate.

Since then it's been slim pickings with two semi-final defeats (to Team Wellington on away goals in 2018 and a 2-1 defeat to AS Magenta in 2019). The 2020 OFC Champions League was cancelled at the end of the group stage due to Covid-19 while the 2021 edition was also binned by the pandemic.

That means a victory for Albert Riera's team will be Auckland City FC"s first Oceania title in five years.

The last time City competed at a FIFA Club World Cup was in December 2017 when they were beaten 1-0 by UAE national champions Al Jazira. 


AS Venus - Pedigree and prowess

Standing in City's way is an AS Venus side that has looked every centimetre a competitive force in the competition.

Teaonui Tehau set the tone with a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Central Coast on 4 August in their opening game and qualification for the last four was sealed when the Tahitians downed Lae City 1-0 courtesy of a Kevin Barbe goal late on.

Venus dropped three points when Bong Kalo's second half strike handed Vanuatu's Galaxy a win but it's difficult to read too much into the result given first place in the section was secured.

More concerning for Riera and City was AS Venus 4-0 trouncing of 2019 champions Hienghene Sport in the semi-final. Roonui Tehau, Teaonui Tehau and two goals by Tauhiti Keck saw sam Garcia's team sail through to the final in polished style and against an opponent with skin in the game due to the New Caledonia-Tahiti rivalry.

Auckland City FC - No shortage of challenges in unbeaten run

For Auckland City FC the game is also notable given it is it's 35th game of the year (including six pre-season friendlies) and they have yet to lose.

If City get through tomorrow's game with the OFC Champions League trophy tucked away alongside the Northern League title they successfully defended, then Riera's team must mentally steel themselves for another winner takes all situation when they play Wellington Olympic in the Chatham Cup semi-final at Kiwitea Street on Sunday at 2.00pm NZDT.


Auckland City FC v AS Venus - previous history

Auckland City FC and AS Venus do have previous encounters to draw on. They last met in an Oceania game on 4 March 2020 when a Myer Bevan goal handed City a tight 1-0 win in Papeete. The two clubs also met on 25 February 2018 at Trusts Arena when City demolished the Tahitians 7-0 with Emiliano Tade netting a hat-trick longside a goal each for Reid Drake, Micah Lea'alafa, Dalton Wilkins and Callum McCowatt.

FIFA Club World Cup 2023
Unfortunately, not much is yet known about the next FIFA Club World Cup. COVID-19 scheduling issues caused the 2021 edition to switch locations and forced it to be postponed until February 2022. Since, not much has been released officially by FIFA regarding this year's tournament. The only other qualifier so far are the Seattle Sounders, the MLS franchise that won the CONCACAF Champions League. Real Madrid won last season's UEFA Champions League final. 


FIFA Club World Cup Prize Money
The seven club format of the FIFA Club World Cup has been kind to New Zealand football with Auckland City FC qualifying nine times, Waitakere United twice and Team Wellington once. Each club brought at least $500,000 USD into the New Zealand game for participating in the playoff. Twice Auckland City FC ventured beyond that stage to achieve fifth and third placings that meant at least $3.5 million USD was returned to the game in New Zealand and Oceania. 

Key Dates
17.08.22 v AS Venus (H) - OFC Champions League Final 
21.08.22 v Wellington Olympic (H) - Chatham Cup Semi Final
23.08.22 v. Western Springs (A) - Northern League
03.09.22 v. Auckland United (A) - Northern League
10.09.22 v. TBC (N) - Chatham Cup Final 

October 3, 2022 to December 3, 2022 - National League Championship 

LIVE STREAM

Tomorrow's game will be streamed live on www.oceaniafootball.com.

The game kicks off at 2.00pm NZDT.

Ends

Match Details
OFC Champions League Semi Final
Wednesday 17 August 2022
AS Venus v Auckland City FC
Ngahue Reserve, Auckland
Kick-off: 2.00pm NZDT

AC: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Christian GRAY, 5. Angel BERLANGA, 6. Matt ELLIS, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 8. Gerard GARRIGA, 9. Will ENG, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 11. Ryan DE VRIES, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 14. Jordan VALE, 15. Aidan CAREY, 16. Joe LEE, 17. Reid DRAKE, 18. Finn DOCKERTY (GK), 19. Liam GILLION, 20. Emiliano TADE, 21. Ilham HAMEEDI, 23. Alfie ROGERS, 24. Cam BROWN (GK).

COACH: Albert RIERA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GOALKEEPER COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
MANAGER: Keith COTON
ANALYST: Adria CASALS
TECHNICAL: Jarrod WALLACE
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE

AUCKLAND CITY FC RECORD V TAHITIAN CLUBS

02.06.05 v AS Pirae (A) lost 0-1

16.05.06 v AS Pirae (H) won 1-0
21.05.06 v AS Pirae (H) won 3-1 - OFC Club Championship Final 2006

27.10.07 v AS Manu Ura (H) won 6-0
29.03.08 v AS Manu Ura (A) won 1-0

17.10.09 v AS Manu Ura (H) won 5-0
13.02.10 v AS Manu Ura (A) won 2-0

03.12.10 v AS Tefana (A) drew 1-1
19.03.11 v AS Tefana (H) won 5-0

29.04.12 v AS Tefana (H) won 2-1 - OFC Champions League Final 1st Leg
13.05.12 v AS Tefana (A) won 1-0 - OFC Champions League Final 2nd Leg

17.04.13 v AS Dragon (H) lost 1-3
27.04.13 v AS Dragon (A) drew 1-1

11.04.14 v AS Dragon (N) won 3-0
26.04.14 v AS Pirae (H) won 3-0 - OFC Champions League 1/4 Final 1st Leg
05.04.14 v AS Pirae (A) lost 1-2 - OFC Champions League 1/4 Final 2nd Leg

20.04.16 v AS Tefana (H) won 4-2 - OFC Champions League Semi Final

09.04.17 v AS Tefana (H) won 2-0 - OFC Champions League Semi Final 1st Leg
16.04.17 v AS Tefana (A) won 2-0 - OFC Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg

25.02.18 v AS Venus (H) won 7-0

04.03.20 v AS Venus (A) won 1-0

PLAYED: 21 WON: 16 DREW: 2 LOST: 3 GF: 52 GA: 12

COACH - SAM GARCIA
A vastly experienced coach Sam Garcia has worked with the best youth players in Tahitian football going back to the first OFC Club Championship in 2005. Born in 1975, Garcia earned 19 international caps for Tahiti and moved on to manage clubs in Indonesia. He has previously coached AS Pirae and the Tahitian national team.

PLAYER TO WATCH - TEAONUI TEHAU
The 29 year old Teaonui Tehau is currently Tahitian football's number one striker. Born into a family of international footballers, Teaonui Tehau netted a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Central Coast during the group stage. He has 33 caps for his country and has scored 24 goals.

CURRENT FORM - DOMESTIC
09.01.22 v Temanava (A) won 14-0
19.01.22 v AS Dragon (H) lost 0-2
23.01.22 v AS Pirae (A) won 1-0
28.01.22 v Olympic Mahina (A) won 4-3
12.02.22 v AS Tefana (A) drew 1-1
09.04.22 v Punaruu (A) won 3-0
19.04.22 v Tiare Tahiti (A) won 4-1
23.04.22 v Excelsior (H) won 7-2
01.05.22 v Temanava (H) won 4-2
14.05.22 v Central (H) won 2-1
22.05.22 v AS Pueu (A) won 2-1
29.05.22 v AS Mataiea (A) won 15-0
04.06.22 v AS Dragon (A) drew 1-1
18.06.22 v Olympic Mahina (H) won 8-0
25.06.22 v AS Pirae (H) lost 1-2
09.07.22 v A Tefana (H) drew 1-1
17.07.22 v Tiare Tahiti (H) won 3-0


CURRENT FORM - OFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
15.06.22 v AS Pirae (A) won 1-0 aet - national playoff
04.08.22 v Central Coast (N) won 3-0
07.08.22 v Lae City (N) won 1-0
10.08.22 v Galaxy (N) lost 0-1
14.08.22 v Hienghene Sport (N) won 4-0 - semi-final

PREVIOUS MEETINGS
04.03.20 v Auckland City FC (H) lost 0-1
25.02.18 v Auckland City FC (A) lost 0-7

OFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RECORD - AS VENUS

1999 OFC CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP
18.09.99 v Nadi (N) drew 1-1
22.09.99 v Kiwi FC (N) won 14-1
24.09.99 v South Melbourne (N) lost 0-3

2001 OFC CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP
10.01.01 v PanSa (N) won 2-0
12.01.01 v Titavi FC (N) won 6-0
14.01.01 v Tupapa Maraerenga (N) won 10-0
16.01.01 v Tafea FC (N) lost 0-6
20.01.01 v Wollongong Wolves (N) lost 2-4
22.01.01 v Napier City Rovers (N) lost 2-3

2018 OFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
25.02.18 v Auckland City FC (A) lost 0-7
28.02.18 v Lautoka (N) lost 1-2
03.03.18 v Madang FC (N) won 2-1

2020 OFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
01.03.20 v Lupe ole Soaga (H) won 6-0
04.03.20 v Auckland City FC (H) lost 0-1
07.04.20 v Ba (H) won 4-2

2022 OFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
04.08.22 v Central Coast FC (N) won 3-0
07.08.22 v Lae City (N) won 1-0
10.08.22 v Galaxy (N) lost 0-1
14.08.22 v Hienghene Sport (N) won 4-0


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