Navy Blues aim for Oceania consistency

Words: ACFC Media

Friday 14 April 2017

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Aggression, energy and bristling physicality - those are the qualities AS Tefana could unleash on Auckland City FC when the two teams meet in the OFC Champions League semi-final second leg at Kiwitea Street on Sunday.

Auckland City FC downed the French Polynesians 2-0 at Stade Pater in Tahiti last week to set up themselves up in a comfortable position in the race for the OFC Champions League title.

Coach Ramon Tribulietx was pleased with the result and performance after taking a sore one off Team Wellington in the Stirling Sports Premiership grand final when the Navy Blues lost the domestic showpiece final 2-1.

"We delivered a very professional performance in Tahiti and we were good with our positioning, offensive and defensive.

"We were very focused particularly in those crossing situations in the second half and also at set plays. It was good to see that focus and we need to keep this delivering going into the next game," he said.

All Whites internationals Cam Howieson and Clayton Lewis both scored on a tough night when AS Tefana's reliance on fast counter attacks and a raw physical approach made the midfield tussle for possession fraught.

"We played very well in the first 25 minutes of the first leg and we had all the possession but then they changed their positioning in midfield and the game evened up.

"AS Tefana may try to be very aggressive and physical like in the second half of the last match so we will just need to be very switched on from the start and play a very focused and intense game.

"If we are well positioned at Kiwitea Street in terms of our structures then I'm sure the opportunities will come. We don't want to focus on the end product too much but on the processes.

"We've been very good this season when we have been switched on to the task and strongly motivated. We have performed very well against very good opposition and now we need to show some continuity from the game in Tahiti and deliver a focused and intense performance in this match," Tribulietx said.

Ryan De Vries remains an injury doubt after taking a knock to his back in the Stirling Sports Premiership defeat to Team Wellington while Fabrizio Tavano faces a race against time to be fit for the AS Tefana match carrying a knee injury.

The match kicks off at Kiwitea Street on Sunday 16 April at 2pm.

Ends

Match Details
OFC Champions League
Sunday 16 April 2017
Auckland City FC v AS Tefana
Kiwitea Street, Sandringham
Kick-off: 2pm #AUCTEF

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