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Mystery men to face Navy Blues in Oceania opener

Words: ACFC Media

Friday 23 February 2018

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - AS Venus pose OFC Champions League planning problem as Auckland City FC's OFC Champions League title defence begins.

The Navy Blues have been drawn into Group C along side AS Vénus from Tahiti, Lautoka from Fiji and Madang from Papua New Guinea in a section that sees the top two advance to a one-off quarter-final in April.

Its a group, which Tribulietx admits, is a tough section to play in.

“The group stage in the OFC Champions League is always difficult and this year, we are playing teams that we don’t know much about.

AUDIO - Ramon Tribulietx on AS Venus

 

“We probably know a lot more about Lautoka than the other two, AS Vénus and Madang. But we understand the pacific teams pretty well by now, we’ve played so many of them over my ten years at the club, so we understand what they bring to the party,” he told www.aucklandcityfc.com

Last season’s Tahitian Ligue 1 runners up, AS Vénus will prove to be a tough battle against the Navy Blues, with Tribulietx preparing for the match against a side he claims he doesn’t know much about.

“Being from Tahiti we can understand what they’re going to be like, they’re going to be physical.”

“Unfortunately, we don’t really know much about them as a group as a team, because there’s not much footage you can find unfortunately but it is what it is, we have to believe in how we do things collectively as a team and be very strong as a team.”

Both sides have never clashed swords before, with Vénus only making their third appearance in the tournament.

Previously they made it to the semi-finals of the tournament in 1999 and 2001, and faced Napier City Rovers in third place playoff, where they fell to the New Zealand side by 3-2.

But the Navy Blues have had their nose bloodied by Tahitian opponents before when they were beaten 3-1 on a rainswept Trusts Arena by AS Dragon in the OFC Champions League in 2013.

AS Venus have won nine Tahitian titles and seven Tahitian Cups.

The match kicks off at 4pm at the Trusts Arena in Auckland on Sunday the 25th of February.

Entry into the OFC Champions League Group C matches at Trusts Arena is free.

Ends

OFC Champions League Tournament Guide available here. 

Match Details
ISPS Handa Premiership
Sunday 25 February 2018
Auckland City FC v AS Vénus
Trusts Arena, Auckland
Kick-off: 4pm NZST
#ACvVE
TICKET PRICES: FREE ENTRY

AC (from): 1. Enaut Zubikarai (GK), 2. Liam Graham, 5. Angel Berlanga (c), 6. Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, 7. Cam Howieson, 9. Darren White, 12. Kris Bright, 13. Alfie Rogers, 14. Cole Peverley, 15. Daniel Morgan, 17. Reid Drake, 19. Micah Lea'alafa, 20. Emiliano Tade, 21. Harry Edge, 24. Conor Tracey (GK), 25. Owen Parker-Price, 26. Callum McCowatt, 27. Dalton Wilkins.

Coach: Ramon Tribulietx

Omitted: 3. Takuya Iwata, 4. Mario Bilen, 8. Albert Riera, 23. Marko Dordevic, 11. Fabrizio Tavano, 16. Harshae Raniga, 28. Sam Burfoot.

VE (from:) 1. Tamatiti Patia (GK), 2. Tauarii Taputuarai, 3. Kevin Barbe, 4. Jean-Claude Paraue, 5. Marcel Tihoni, 6. Hitinui Vernaudon, 7. Marama Anau, 9. Tefai Farehau, 10. Teaonui Tehau, 11. Raimanu Tetauira, 12. Mauraii Tehina, 13. Yann Pennequin-Le Bras, 14. Faretua Maraetefau, 16. Haiarii Tavanae, 18. Tivini Teumere, 22. Tevaearai Tamatai, 23. Mauri Heitaa, 24. Hauragi Huri, 25. Ramanui Amau, 26. Louis Gitton, 27. Kittin Maro, 29. Christian Tepau, 30. Roonui Tehau.

Coach: Sam Garcia. 

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