24 Apr 2014

Sport: Auckland City wary of Pirae's dangerous duo

12:56 pm on 24 April 2014

Oceania football champions Auckland City are braced for a tough examination in Saturday's semi final first leg against AS Pirae from Tahiti.

City suffered a shock loss to Amicale in the group stage tournament in Fiji earlier this month and only qualified for the final four as the best placed runners up.

Head coach Ramon Tribulietx says they've taken plenty of learnings from their week in Fiji.

He's seen plenty of footage of Group A winners Pirae in action and says the Tahitians are very aggressive in their approach.

"Out of possession they look to regain very high, they go very narrow on the ball so that's got advantages. Obviously if we lose it in our own half we're going to be in danger because they have the ability to score from those situations. They play very quick counter attacks: one or two passes, they find people running in behind and also they have the ability of those two players, Raimana Li Fung Kuee and obviously [Marama] Vahirua, who is the most experienced player - he's played in the French top flight for a long time."

Vanuatu's Amicale FC are away to Fijian champions Ba in the other semi final first leg on Sunday.

Meanwhile the O-League final has been changed from a one-off match to a two-legged, home and away decider.

OFC President David Chung says the O-League is the region's premier club competition and the move will help marketing and also benefit fans.