Oceania Football Confederation > News > OFC Champions League 2014 > Amicale, Auckland City FC eye final clash

Amicale, Auckland City FC eye final clash

Amicale have enjoyed an unbeaten run in their OFC Champions League journey thus far, from the start of off their championship bid with a convincing 1-0 win over Tahiti’s AS Dragon.
The Vanuatu side were also through to the final first, after a 2-1 win and 0-0 draw against Ba FC in the home-and-away semi-finals all but assured their position in this Saturday’s first leg showpiece.
But despite the winning streak, Amicale coach Nathan Hall knows his team have a tough task on their hands when they face an Auckland City FC side desperate to notch their fourth title in a row.
“This is a grand final for us on Saturday and we need to do everything that we can to pick up a victory because if we don’t then it becomes a dog fight in New Zealand in the second leg,” Hall says.
“Winning the OFC Champions League becomes not an insurmountable task (if we don’t win), but a very difficult task. We know that, we know that we need to perform to our best and we know that we need to score goals.
“We need to go play as well as we can, be relaxed and composed but at the same time we need to be tough, because you don’t want to be too relaxed against a team like Auckland City,” he says.
By contrast, the defending champions had a less straightforward path to the final, finishing second in Group B after a shock round three loss to Amicale left their semi-final hopes hanging precariously on the outcome of the final group stage clash between AS Pirae and Waitakere United.
AS Pirae defeated Waitakere United 3-1 to hand Auckland City FC a semi-final lifeline, one the New Zealanders grabbed gratefully.
Now their coach Ramon Tribulietx is looking forward to the challenge that Amicale will pose, well aware of the Vanuatu champion side’s strong record thus far.
“Every year it is more and more difficult to reach the same levels of achievement,” Tribulietx says of the standard of competition, “The clubs in the Oceania region possess a lot of talent and coming up against this, particularly on their own turf, is very difficult.
“Amicale is a very strong team with a lot of experience, prepared to win, smart with their play. They are a great challenge for us and very difficult for sure,” he says.
Auckland City FC were a mixed bag in the semi-finals against AS Pirae.
While they defeated AS Pirae 3-0 in the first leg at Kiwitea Street thanks to two goals by Emiliano Tade and one for Joao Moreira they were well beaten 2-1 by the Tahitian champions in the return leg.
Amicale coach Nathan Hall has a full strength team at his disposal, including Sanni Issa and Fenedy Masauvakalo who were able to join the team for the semi-finals after missing out on the group stage.
Amicale and Auckland City met on this same stage in 2011, challenging for the final over two legs in Port Vila and Kiwitea Street. Auckland won that final 6-1 on aggregate but it is a vastly different challenge that awaits them this season with Amicale having won both the previous two clashes between the two clubs by 1-0.
Their New Zealand opponents are without converted right back Darren White who was sent off in Auckland City FC’s last match for one match, while James Pritchett will be given until late in the week to prove his fitness ahead of the trip to Port Vila.
The match will be officiated by Kader Zitouni from Tahiti and kicks off at PVL Stadium in Port Vila at 2pm local time.
Extra Information:
Media Coverage
Live text updates of the OFC Champions League Final 1st Leg can be followed at www.oceaniafootball.com or via OFC’s official Twitter account @OFCFootball.
A full match replay will be uploaded to OFC’s official YouTube channel straight after the conclusion of Saturday’s match.
Saturday 10 May, 2014
Port Vila Municipal Stadium, Vanuatu
2pm local time
Referee: Kader ZITOUNI (TAH)
Assistant Referee 1: Terry PIRI (COK)
Assistant Referee 2: Didier HMZUO (NCL)
Fourth Official: Isidore ASSIENE-AMBASSA (NCL)
Head to head: Played 5, Amicale 2 wins, Auckland City FC 3 wins, 0 draws.
Vital statistics:
Amicale are the first team not from Australia or New Zealand to reach the Champions League final twice. Should they emerge victors over the next two weekends, Amicale will also become the only non-Australian/New Zealand team other than Hekari United in 2010 to qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup. The final on Saturday will also be Amicale’s 25th match in the Oceania Champions League tournament.
The players: All players are fit for selection. Top scorers for Amicale are Kensi TANGIS and Nikola VASILIC with three goals apiece; together with the freshly available Sanni ISSA and veteran Fenedy MASAUVAKOLO, Amicale have a formidable strike team to take the first leg.
Squad list: 1. Chikau MANSALE (GK), 4. David TALONE, 6. Shivan SWAMY, 8. Milan MATIC, 9. Esava NAQALECA, 10. Nikola VASILIC, 11. Sanni ISSA, 13. Francois SAKAMA, 15. Alphonse BONGNAIM, 16. Daniel NATOU, 17. Nelson SALE (C), 18. Robert TOM, 20. Michael RUTHERFORD (GK), 21. Paul YOUNG, 23. Roddy LENGA, 24. Kensi TANGIS, 25. Laitia TUILAU, 26. Silas NAMATAK, 27. Octav MELTECOIN, 28. Johnny TIRAENG, 29. Dominque FRED, 30. Jack WETNEY, 31. Marko DORDEVIC, 32. Rodney SEVEREUX, 33. Joel NAKAPUE, 34. Colin MARSHALL, 35. Richard ANISUA, 38. Barry MANSALE
Coach: Nathan HALL (AUS)
Vital statistics:
The defending champions are chasing their fourth consecutive Oceania crown and sixth title overall. With a win over the two legs, Auckland City stand to make history as the team with the most appearances at the FIFA Club World Cup. They are currently tied with Egyptian club Al-Ahly with five. Their last appearance in Port Vila against Amicale resulted in a 1-0 defeat in March 2012.
The players: Emiliano TADE and Joao MOREIRA are Auckland City’s top-scorers with four goals apiece, and both are fit for selection today to challenge for the Golden Boot award – they’ll need two goals minimum to equal AS Pirae striker Naea BENNETT’s overall tally of six. Darren WHITE is suspended for one match.
Squad list: 1. Tamati WILLIAMS (GK), 3. Takuya IWATA, 4. Mario BILEN, 5. Angel BERLANGA, 6. John IRVING, 7. James PRITCHETT, 10. Ryan DE VRIES, 11. Daniel KOPRIVCIC, 15. Ivan VICELICH (C), 16. Dae Wook KIM, 17. Joao MOREIRA, 18. Louie CAUNTER (GK), 19. David BROWNE, 20. Emiliano TADE, 21. Mario ILLICH, 22. Andrew MILNE, 23. Sam BURFOOT, 25. Sean LOVEMORE, 26. Sean MORRIS

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