Oceania Football Confederation > News > 2014 OFC President's Cup > Auckland reach final in style

Auckland reach final in style

A remarkable 17 strikes found the back of the net as Auckland swept aside Bodden Town 9-0 before Busaiteen nearly matched them in dismantling a nine-man Fiji U-20 side 7-1.
As has often been the case in recent months, the star of the City show was striker Emiliano Tade, back in the Auckland line-up after missing the opening game due to being on trial at South African professional outfit Vasco da Gama FC.
The skillful Argentine notched Auckland’s opening pair of goals in trademark fashion at opposite ends of the first half, neatly finishing off flowing passing moves in the third and 44th minutes.
Despite the latter effort coming just before the break, there was still time for the Navy Blues to extend their lead, however, Tade turning provider this time to present Darren White with an open goal in additional time.
White returned the favour five minutes after the restart for Tade to complete his hat-trick and the score was padded out in the last half hour as a Ryan De Vries brace and further goals to debutant Kohei Matsumoto, Fabrizio Tavano and Sam Burfoot wrapped up a memorable evening for Auckland coach Ramon Tribulietx.
“It was one of those games that can sometimes happen in football,” he said.
“I don’t think we should get too carried away by the score. They probably didn’t have a good night and we managed to score a few goals but we have to keep our feet on the ground and keep working.”
Despite conceding nine goals, Bodden goalkeeper and skipper Ramon Sealy was one of his side’s better performers, producing some excellent saves to prevent Auckland hitting double figures.
Sealy had plenty of praise for Auckland but felt his own team did not play to the best of their ability.
‘It wasn’t the best day in the office for us,” he said.
“We played our football in bits and pieces but we didn’t play throughout the whole 90 minutes. We thought we could come away with something but it just didn’t happen for us today and that’s football,” he added.
“Auckland executed their game plan well so hats off to them and good luck to them in the finals.”
Amazingly, the nine goals witnessed in the day’s opening match were almost replicated in the second with Busaiteen joining Auckland in going on the rampage.
The Bahraini side came to New Zealand as pre-tournament favourites but failed to live up to that tag in their opening match, losing 2-1 to Amicale.
They were clearly stung by that defeat and showed the Fiji U-20s no mercy, albeit with the advantage of two extra men for most of the second half.
The World Cup-bound Fijians were up against it prior to a ball being kicked as Busaiteen are a senior professional outfit and therefore have far more experience and match intelligence to call upon. But Ravinesh Kumar’s charges were not overawed by the class of their opponents and more than matched them in the opening exchanges.
Few chances were carved out by either side in the opening quarter but when a goal did arrive it was well worth the wait, the impressive Mohamed Ajaj bringing the game to life with a spectacular volley. Ajaj would go on to claim the day’s second hat-trick with goals in the 39th and 73rd minutes while Eliel Cruz notched a late double by striking in the 75th and 88th minutes.
There was no shortage of net-busting in between with Mohamed Sultan and Mujtaba Malek scoring for Busaiteen in the 29th and 34th minutes respectively while Fiji bundled an own goal home on 50 minutes.
Frustratingly for Kumar, shortly after getting on the scoresheet Fiji had two players, Tony Tuivuna and Saula Waqa, dismissed to leave them seriously short-handed for the remainder of the night.
That made a tough task almost impossible and Kumar said his young men will need to learn to keep their discipline when facing top players.
“They could not sustain the pressure from a professional team and they lost themselves,” he said.
“It has let us down and they need to control themselves in situations like this. But the boys did their best with nine players and resisted them from getting more goals.”
Busaiteen’s key figure was undoubtedly Ajaj and he felt his side gave a truer reflection of themselves this evening.
“This is our team,” he said.
“We were nervous in the last match against Amicale but today each individual gave 100 per cent in his performance and you can see that on the scoreboard.”
The inaugural OFC President’s Cup will reach its finale on Sunday at The Trusts Arena with three playoff matches in store. Bodden Town and Fiji U-20 will battle for fifth place from 1pm before Singapore U-23 and Busaiteen both try to claim bronze at 4pm.
The President’s Cup will then be up for grabs at 7pm when Auckland City and Amicale have the honour of contesting the competition’s first ever final.

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