21 May 2018

Sport: Team Wellington claim maiden OFC Champs League title

9:25 am on 21 May 2018

Team Wellington have clinched their maiden OFC Champions League football title with a 10-3 aggregate victory over Lautoka FC.

The visitors won the return leg 4-3 at Churchill Park yesterday to cap off a dominant grand final performance, having romped to a 6-0 first leg victory in the first match.

Team Wellington celebrate their first OFC Champions League title.

Team Wellington celebrate their first OFC Champions League title. Photo: OFC via Phototek

Mario Ilich scored two first-half goals to all but seal the result, after the New Zealand club finished runners-up to Auckland City in each of the previous three years.

Ross Allen extended Wellington's advantage to 3-0 before Benjamin Totori got the home side on the board.

Shazil Ali and Totori brought Lautoka level on the day with five minutes remaining before Angus Kilkolly scooped the ball into the back of the net for the match-winner, making for a very happy head coach Jose Figueira.

"Delighted, just obviously absorbing everything. A season of tremendous hard work and to finally clinch the big one is a brilliant feeling."

Team Wellington coach José Figueira.

Team Wellington coach José Figueira. Photo: OFC via Phototek

Lautoka's second half comeback was pleasing for coach Kamal Swamy to witness as the home side finished on a strong note.

"I think we created a lot of opportunities, better than what we created in Wellington," he said.

Benjamin Totori scored twice for Lautoka.

Benjamin Totori scored twice for Lautoka. Photo: OFC via Phototek

"We played possession football but in the counter attacks we were slower. I'm proud of this Lautoka team, it's the first time in the final and that's a great achievement and I hope we will continue like this, improving every day."

"Ultimately Wellington was a better side, so congratulations to them."

Team Wellington now advance to represent Ocenia in the FIFA Club World Cup in December, where they will meet the winner of the UAE Arabian Gulf League, Al Ain.