20 Mar 2017

Sport: Auckland City boosted in OFC title defence

1:13 pm on 20 March 2017

Auckland City have received a welcome confidence boost going into the OFC Champions League football semi finals.

The hosts embarrassed Malampa Revivors from Vanuatu 11-0 in their final Group C match at the weekend to finish atop the standings with maximum points.

Coach Ramon Tribulietx said they dominated possession and created lots of chances in all three games.

Auckland City's Micah Lea’alafa scores against Malampa Revivors.

Auckland City's Micah Lea’alafa scores against Malampa Revivors. Photo: OFC via Phototek

But after narrow 2-1 and 2-0 results against Western United and Lae City Dwellers, he said it was nice to finally see the back of the net receive a good workout.

"They knew they didn't have a chance and after we were 3-0 up probably they just gave up and we could bank in some goals tat probably in regards to the confidence were well needed," he said.

"Because we've been playing really well but we haven't been that accurate in front of goal and it was good to see them coming in [on Saturday].

"Hopefully leading into the finals of both tournaments [the Champions League and New Zealand domestic league] that gives us the confidence that we need at this stage."

Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx.

Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Tahiti's AS Tefana drew 2-2 with Marist FC from Solomon Islands to clinch the final playoff spot from Group D, joining Auckland, AS Magenta and Team Wellington.

It's a repeat of the semi final line-up from last seaosn and Ramon Tribulietx said there were few secrets between them.

"We played Tefana last year in the semi final and Wellington in the final. The three of us and indeed ourselves know ourselves very well," he said.

"Magenta we've played them in the past and we understand how difficult it is to play against these sort of sides, especially up in the islands.

"The temperature is a factor, the way these guys play when they play at home makes them very dangerous, so we understand the challenges.

"And we understand that there's a lot of team that have been in there before and they will probably want to do a lot better and they will be very motivated.

"It's going to be a tough final four but we will see how we go game by game."

AS Tefana are through to the OFC Champions League semi finals.

AS Tefana are through to the OFC Champions League semi finals. Photo: OFC via Massimo Colombini