Words: ACFC Media
Friday 11 March 2016
Picture: Phototek NZ
Team Wellington are targeting the OFC Champions League after their stunning win over Auckland City to claim the New Zealand title.
Team Wellington struck twice in extra time to secure the ASB Premiership in a thrilling final in Auckland on Thursday night.
They now turn their attention to the Oceania Champions League campaign beginning in Auckland in April as they look to overturn a penalty shootout defeat to Auckland City FC in last year's final.
Team Wellington enjoy the spoils of victory after winning the ASB Premiership Grand Final 4-2 against Auckland City.
A shot at the lucrative FIFA Club World Cup is the carrot for the Oceania champions.
"It keeps the team going and everything stays positive," Wellington captain Cole Peverley said of building momentum from Thursday night's shock win that ended Auckland's incredible unbeaten run of 28 matches.
"The confidence is there and hopefully we can go on and do well there, take that one out and do one better than last year. This is important for the club to keep it going. It's just fantastic."
Peverley came on as second half substitute in the final and the midfielder produced a strong contribution, scoring a late penalty which took the game to extra time.
"For me personally and the team, I can tell you it means everything," Peverley said of the national title.
"We've had an up and down season. We finished third in the league and we could go either way. It could either go on and we could strive and get some results or it could go the other way and [we] give up.
"The team were absolutely fantastic last week against Hawke's Bay and then today, it's unbelievable. It means everything to us."
Over the past year Peverley said he and his team mates had built up a belief they could topple the two-time defending champions and on Thursday night they were proved right.
"They are a bloody good team and we've got respect for them and they've got respect for us.
"But on the day anyone can win the football match. It's always a good match and the boys always go into the game confident because we know them so well."
They wouldn't have been in the position to get the victory without the 88th minute spot kick - after Takuya Iwata's foul on league Golden Boot winner Ben Harris - one Peverley admitted he dwelled slightly longer over given what was at stake.
"To be honest I've taken pens for years and I don't really get nervous, I just step up and take them. But I was nervous on that one because I thought if I miss it, it's all over. But luckily I stuck it away."
v Al Ahly, Tangier, Feb 1 2023, KO: 8pm local