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After the League comes the Coupe

AS Venus are through to the Coupe de Tahiti final. Credit: OFC via Phototek

After mixed results for AS Dragon and AS Venus in the 2018 OFC Champions League, which saw the former make the quarter finals and the latter finish their campaign in the Group Stage, both sides have another chance at some silverware.

Both Dragon and Venus have made the final of the Coupe de Tahiti with the winner of the final set to enter France’s prestigious Coupe de France in the 7th round.

For the teams from French Polynesia the Coupe de France, like the OFC Champions League, provides a chance for teams to experience top level football outside of their country.

Dragon made their way to the final after beating Ligue 2 side JT 3-2 in the semi-final. Rainui Tze-Yu opened the scoring in the 24th minute before Abraham Maperi equalised for JT  seven minutes later.

Locked at the break, the second half began playing out much as the first did with Dragon scoring first in the 56th minute through Hubert Tauha, but once again Maperi found an equaliser.

It wasn’t until the 88th minute when former professional Marama Vahirua rose to the occasion to net the winner and make it a 3-2 victory for Dragon.

In the other semi-final Venus has a tough task ahead of them as they faced AS Tefana.

Although the green and yellow had a slow start to the season, they’ve slowly been getting back to their winning form and Venus were hoping not to be another club that falls in the face of Tefana’s comeback.

When the Ligue 1 leading goal scorer Teaonui Tehau netted just seven minutes in the fixture, Sam Garcia’s charges felt they were on the right track. But it was never going to be a simple encounter as Jean Claude Chang Koei Chang hit back ten minutes later.

Taumihau Tiatia then extended Tefana’s lead in the 23rd minute. Kevin Barbe hit back for the equaliser but Benoit Mathon and Donavan Bourebare put Tefana a further two goals ahead to give the side a 4-2 lead at the break.

In the second half Teaonui Teahu once again restored hope for Venus when he struck in the 67th minute. Then, following the sending off of Alvin Tehau, Tauarii Taputuarai equalised in the 90th minute to force the match into extra time.

Tauhiti Keck got on the board for Tefana in extra time while the always reliable Teaonui Tehau got his third to make it 5-5.

In the end, thanks to goalkeeper Tamaiti Patia, Venus were able to come out the other side of the penalty shootout 3-2 securing their place in the final.

The final of the Couple de Tahiti will take place at the end of this month.

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