Oceania Football Confederation > News > OFC Champions League 2014 > Marshall and De Vries eye Champions League glory

Marshall and De Vries eye Champions League glory

Amicale’s Colin Marshall has seen it all in his professional career and the Scotsman is determined to see he and his team-mates line-up in Morocco at the end of the year.
But also dreaming of Oceania and FIFA Club World Cup glory is Auckland City FC’s Ryan De Vries, a player who has twice suffered OFC Champions League heartache losing two finals as a Waitakere United player.
It’s very much a case of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object – something must simply give in the second leg.
Marshall says the indications are all positive for the Vanuatu champions ahead of Sunday’s re-match.
“The first half we didn’t start too badly, but Auckland City FC were always going to have more possession, but if you can limit their chances and make yourself hard to break down but also be effective going forward you’re doing well – but that’s the hard part.
“Recently we’ve done well at the back but we’ve not created enough chances. But I felt as though we gave Auckland City FC a challenge. Its going to be a lot harder in Auckland, its going to be a better pitch for a start,” he says.
The 29-year-old Scot signed for Amicale after a stay in the J-League under one-time FIFA World Cup winner Ossie Ardiles and his experience has been a key factor in the Vanuatu club’s journey to their second ever final.
His stints with Aston Villa, Dundee, St Johnstone and Clyde is evident with Marshall’s obvious and unflustered intelligent use of the ball but he believes Auckland City FC have a few tricks up their sleeve they may deploy come match day.
“I’d imagine Auckland are going to wet the pitch to make the ball move faster to make things more in their favour, but honestly, this tie is not over. We showed we can come back from a goal down in Port Vila and we beat City in the group stage so we have to go to New Zealand full of confidence,” he says.
That confidence will be a must-have commodity after Amicale lost an away goal and their influential skipper Nelson Sale, who is suspended for the final after he picked up a second caution on Saturday.
“Nelson is a massive loss for us, he’s a competitor, he leads everybody really well and his physical attributes are exceptional but hopefully we’ve got a few good players in the squad so someone else can step in and grab their opportunity. We have to score a goal next week. It’s as simple as that.
“At Auckland’s ground they’re going to create a lot more chances so it was vital in Port Vila we didn’t lose. But a 1-1 draw is ok. 0-0 would’ve been better but we still have to go and win 1-0.
Marshall is under no illusions the return leg is going to be difficult. The last time Amicale ventured forth onto Kiwitea Street in an OFC Champions League Final they were comprehensively defeated 4-0.
Marshall says Amicale need to attack but must do so with caution.
“It’s going to be very tough. We need to score a goal. We need to score a goal to win it. We can afford to be a bit more adventurous but without going stupid. Auckland are the type of team that want you to go and press them because they’re so good in possession and they can pass the ball well and pick holes to play through. It’s important for us to know when to press and when not to,” he says.
While Marshall remains adamant about what his team needs, Auckland City FC’s Ryan De Vries says level heads will be equally important for the home side.
The former Waitakere United forward has never won an OFC Champions League title having finished runners-up twice with his former club.
“Our away goal is a good advantage and we’re on our home patch and the tie could go either way, but we’re a ball playing team and with hard work and some luck, we can win on Sunday to get back to Morocco.
“We knew the first leg was going to be very, very, tough. Amicale are a good side, we learned that in Fiji. We worked hard for the away goal in Port Vila and we’re hopeful that with more hard work we can turn this to our advantage and win at Kiwitea Street on Sunday,” he says.
One element both Marshall and De Vries agree on was the red-hot passionate atmosphere generated by the fans in Port Vila.
“The people in Vanuatu are fanatical about their football and you could see after the game with a lot of the players on both teams getting their photos taken with the fans and Auckland even got clapped off the pitch. It’s a good atmosphere there,” Marshall says.
For De Vries, Port Vila was also a special experience.
“The atmosphere in Vanuatu was great and a few of our boys haven’t played in a venue where there are 10,000 people in the stadium. There was a bit of pressure there but by scoring early in the tie we’ve set ourselves up nicely for this week’s second leg,” he says.
The OFC Champions League Final 2nd Leg is scheduled for Sunday 18 May with a kick-off time of 2pm NZST / 1pm VANT.
The match will be streamed live on the official OFC YouTube channel in both English and Bislama.
Live updates are also available at www.oceaniafootball.com and social media news, photos and updates can be sourced @OFCFootball.
OFC Champions League Final, 2nd Leg
Sunday 18 May
Auckland City FC (1) vs Amicale (1)
Kiwitea Street, Sandringham
Kick-off: 2pm NZST / 1pm VANT
Adults – $15
Children U16 – FREE
ACFC Season Pass Holders – FREE

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