24 May 2024

AS Pirae, Auckland City to face off in OFC Champions League final

9:16 am on 24 May 2024
AS Pirae's Patrick Tepa celebrates his goal. OFC Men's Champions League 2024, Semi Final 2, AS Pirae v Rewa FC, Stade Pater, Tahiti, Wednesday 22 May 2024. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.phototek.nz

AS Pirae's Patrick Tepa celebrates his goal in the OFC Champions' League semifinal. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.phototek.nz

Local side AS Pirae turned the tables on Fijian side Rewa to earn a final spot at the 2024 OFC Champions League in Papeete on Thursday.

They had a 4-2 win in extra time.

They will line up against defending champions Auckland City, who beat AS Magenta 1-0 earlier in the day in the first semifinal.

The second semifinal started with AS Pirae making quick attacks inside the Rewa half.

But the visitors scored from the penalty box to lead 1-0 after the first 45-minute spell.

AS Pirae fought back and forced a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes.

They then scored two quick goals in extra time and then defended their ground and thwarted Rewa's attacks.

While Auckland will be chasing their 12th title, AS Pirae will be aiming to win Tahiti's first at the annual event, which started in 1987.

Auckland were made to work hard for their semifinal win by an AS Magenta side who had only one day's rest, following their rescheduled final group stage match against Ifira Black Bird on Monday afternoon.

Young wing Stipe Ukich was the match winner for Albert Riera's Auckland side.

The breakthrough came for the defending champions in the 66th minute. Ukich was found on the right-hand side of the box and showed considerable composure to cut inside a defender, before opening his body up and side-footing calmly into the far corner to give his side the lead.

AS Magenta's compacted schedule was taking a toll as the matche ticked towards the 90 minutes, with Auckland City showing their experience in controlling the tempo of the play.

The final will be played on Saturday at Stade Pater.

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