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Navy Blues off to positive start

Words: ACFC Media

Sunday 10 April 2016

Picture: Phototek NZ

Auckland City FC have opened their 2016 OFC Champions League campaign in emphatic fashion beating Solomon Warriors 4-0 in a second half onslaught at Albany’s QBE Stadium on Sunday.

The Solomon Islanders pressed hard from the start and the Navy Blues struggled to get out of their own half in the opening 15 minutes of the match with Kensi Tangis and Gibson Daudau their chief tormentors on the counter attack.

Auckland City FC had their own chances through Micah Lea’alafa and Darren White but Solomon Warriors keeper Anthony Talo kept the Warriors goal intact.

The visitors resistance finally came to an end in the 54th minute when Daewook Kim headed home an Emiliano Tade corner.

The Navy Blues appeared to have sealed the points in the 74th minute when a beautiful cut back by Takuya Iwata found substitute Joao Moreira who tapped into an empty net to double the Navy Blues lead.

Moreira had his second when he went one on one with Talo to slot past the Solomon Islands Futsal keeper to give his side a comfortable 3-0 lead.

The Portuguese striker completed his hat-trick in the final minute of time added on after a neat set up by debutant Nicolai Berry.

Navy Blues head coach Ramon Tribulietx was satisfied with the number of chances his team managed to create but was frustrated with their inability to put away simple chances.

“I think we managed to create a lot of chances even in the first half. We went through their high back line three or four times but we didn’t make the right decisions when we had three or four consecutive chances and we didn’t really capitalise on them.

“Overall, I think we played a consistent game again and it’s always difficult to play the first game so it was good to get a positive result,” Tribulietx said.

The Navy Blues next match is on Wednesday 13 April when they face Papua New Guinean champions Lae City Dwellers at QBE Stadium Oval at 3.30pm.

Team Wellington also got their campaign off to a winning start on Saturday when they defeated Suva 2-0 in the warm and fine conditions.

The team from the capital, who stunned Auckland City in a come-from behind win to claim the ASB Premiership Final 4-2, continued their recent success at QBE Stadium.

The Fijian side proved tough to break down for Team Wellington, but Ben Harris got the breakthrough in the 73rd minute and quickly put the game to bed with a double seven minutes later.

After a sustained period of dominance from Team Wellington, Steven Gulley cut the ball back for Harris to finish. He secured his brace when he met a Leonardo Villa cross, looping his header over Mateinaqara to give his side a 2-0 lead and the three valuable points.

Team Wellington Coach Matt Calcott said it was a good second period from his side.

“At half-time we were pretty direct in what we needed to do to take that step up,” said Calcott. “We had lots of possession in the first half but I don’t think we really hurt them. We went up in our tempo and our passing in the second half and it was good to see.”

The other winners from round one were Heraki United (Papua New 5-1 over AS Lössi (New Caledonia) and Amicale FC (Vanuatu) opened with a 3-0 victory over Lae City Dwellers.

Group B action resumes on Tuesday 12 April when Hekari United take on Suva at 1pm before AS Lössi take on 2015 runners-up Team Wellington at 3.30pm.

OFC Champions League Match Results

Team Wellington (NZL): 2 (Ben HARRIS 73’, 80’)
Suva FA (FIJ): 0
Half-time: 0-0

AS Lössi (NCL): 1 (Dick KAUMA 30’)
Hekari United (PNG): 5 (Joses NAWO 2’, Tommy SEMMY 9’, Wira WAMA 38’, Gagame FENI 54’, Emmanuel SIMON 72’)
Half-time: 1-3

Lae City Dwellers (PNG): 0
Amicale FC (VAN): 3 (Adam DICKINSON 28’, 37’, Diego NADAYA 81’)
Half-time: 0-2

Auckland City FC 4 (Dae Wook KIM 54′, Joao MOREIRA 74′, 85′, 90+1′)
Solomon Warriors 0
Halftime: 0-0

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