AS Pirae have made an emphatic start to their Group B campaign at the OFC Champions League 2023 in Vanuatu with a 3-0 win over Tiga Sport.
The Tahitian qualifiers secured victory over New Caledonia representatives Tiga Sport in Port Vila, scoring all three goals in a first half blitz.
AS Pirae fired from the outset, with two shots on goal within the first five minutes before they opened the scoring in the seventh minute.
Yohann Tihoni zipped down the right wing and timed his run to perfection to meet a 30-metre cross on the full at the far post and volley home from an acute angle.
Dominant in midfield, AS Pirae doubled their score in the 25th minute with a sizzling volley by defender Tevaitini Teumere from outside the box following a corner. It will take a spectacular effort to usurp it for goal of the tournament.
Tiga Sport struggled to get players forward and the odd foray into opposition territory was easily contained by the AS Pirae defence.
In the 40th minute, on a rare occasion when the full Tiga Sport complement pressed hard, a swift counter-attack from the Tahitian side unleashed Ariiura Labaste. His initial shot was blocked but the athletic striker tapped the rebound home to establish a three-goal half-time advantage.
Tiga Sport had more possession and were full of running in the second half, but had little to show for their efforts. It wasn’t until the 52nd minute that they had their first attempt on goal and their first shot on target didn’t materialise until the 75th minute.
Neither side truly threatened in the second 45 minutes as AS Pirae, with only five substitutes, sat on their comfortable lead.
AS Pirae are missing their usual coach and three players due to work commitments, but all personnel will be available to join the squad if they make next week’s semi-finals.
AS Pirae FC: 3 ( Yohann TIHONI 7’ Tevaitini TEUMERE 25’ Ariiura LABASTE 40’)
Tiga Sport FC: 0