Defending champions Team Wellington are through to the OFC Champions League football semi finals after outclassing Henderson Eels from Solomon Islands 6-1.
Ross Allen opened the scoring in the 18th minute yesterday and completed his hat-trick just before the hour mark. Jack-Henry Sinclair scored either side of half-time for the home side.
Eels striker Tuti Zama Tanito converted a penalty to cut the deficit to 2-1 just before half-time but four unanswered goals in the second spell ensured Jose Figueira's side remained in the hunt for back to back titles.
"They're a good side. We experienced going away (from home) how difficult it is but we know they have a lot of threats going forward," he said.
"And that goal (from Henderson) when actually we probably could have been three or four up at that time, puts a few nerves in but the boys showed their character and personality in the second half to come out and finish strong."
Henderson Eels coach Eddie Marahare said conceding immediately after half-time was a killer blow.
"I was really impressed with the way we played in the first half but then there was some serious talk at half-time about the way we play in the second half," he said.
"That early goal killed the concentration level of the players - that early goal in the second half, that's the killer goal - and then players just switch off.
"I blame not actually the cold weather - I mean we were playing against a very good side and the level of concentration should be there for 90 minutes. The moment you switch off a good team like Team Wellington, they kill you."
Despite a disappointing end, Marahare said he was encouraged by the progress his young team had shown in their debut OFC Champions League campaign.
"To reach this far, especially in the quarter finals, it's a very good learning experience for a couple of young boys who the majority of them travelled out of the country (for the first time) when we travelled to Fiji in February and again here in Wellington," he said.
"I hope as a club and team we build from there and move on... I'm hoping to get most of the players to stay back (next season) and then hopefully we can get one or two more new players, senior players to help with the other players in the team."
Team Wellington will travel to Koné to face Hienghène Sport in the semi finals later this month after the New Caledonian side pipped Fiji's Ba 2-1 after extra time in their quarter final clash on Saturday.
After lifting their first Oceania title last season, Wellington coach Figueira said they were determined to ensure it was not just a one-off achievement.
"We said last year when we won it and we went to (represent Oceania at the FIFA Club World Cup in the) UAE we didn't want it to be just once, a one-off," he said.
"We want to go back, we want to defend the title. We haven't qualified for the O-League next year because of the league placing in the (New Zealand domestic) final last week so there's even more motivation to go out and retain our title."
Nine times Oceania winners Auckland City thrashed Toti City from Papua New Guinea 4-0 in their quarter final clash to set up a final four showdown against the winner of today's final match-up between Central Sport from Tahiti and New Caledonia's AS Magenta in Pirae.