A 10-man Auckland City survived an AS Pirae onslaught to reach its fourth consecutive Oceania Champions League football final despite falling to a 2-1 defeat at the Tahitian champions.
The New Zealanders held a 3-0 advantage from the first leg in Auckland but that began to erode when Jimmy Tepa opened the scoring for AS Pirae just four minutes into the match.
The Tahitians doubled their lead five minutes before the break when striker Naea Bennett added a second to bring AS Pirae to within a goal of the visitors aggregate advantage.
Auckland City then pulled a goal back in the 45th minute before being reduced to ten men when Darren White received a second yellow card from referee Issidore Assiene-Ambassa with five minutes left.
Despite their numerical advantage, AS Pirae were unable to crack open a stubborn Auckland City FC defence as the New Zealanders hung on for a 4-2 aggregate victory.
The win means Auckland City FC faces Amicale in the two-legged final, the second time the pair have contested an OFC Champions League final, the first back in 2011.
The first of those two finals is scheduled for PVM Stadium in Port Vila on Saturday May 10th.
The winner of the OFC Champions League advances to the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco in December.