Tahiti’s AS Vénus have cruised into the final of the OFC Champions League 2022 with a 4-0 semi-final win over New Caledonia’s Hienghène Sport at Ngahue Reserve in Auckland.
A brace from Tauhiti Keck and a goal apiece from brothers Teaonui and Roonui Tehau secured the comfortable win for Vénus who will face either Auckland City FC or Central Coast FC in Wednesday’s final.
Vénus had twice made the semi-finals of Oceania’s premier club competition before this fixture, in 1999 and 2001. On both occasions, their dream of a place in the final was shattered but over a 10 minute first-half spell the Mahina-based side made sure this was third-time lucky.
Talismanic captain Teaonui Tehau grabbed the opening goal, the Vénus skipper prodding the ball beyond Jacques Nyikeine after Hienghène failed to clear their lines.
Five minutes later and the Tahitian side had doubled their lead, Keck hammering home a powerful effort to finish off a sweeping counter-attack. The skipper’s brother Roonui Tehau then got in on the act, volleying home Keck’s set-play delivery to make it 3-0.
Amy Antoine Roine flashed a volley across the Vénus goal on the brink of half-time, highlighting the threat the 2019 champions still carried but Samuel Garcia’s side went into the break with one foot in Wednesday’s final.
Hienghène’s final group stage fixture included a stellar second-half display against Rewa FC which earned them their last four status but other than Fonzy Ranchain’s lob attempt they struggled to impose themselves on the game. Their challenge became even more difficult midway through the second period when Jean-Luc Decoire was sent off after picking up two yellow cards.
With the extra man advantage, Vénus put the final touch on their victory, Keck punishing Hienghène goalkeeper Nyikeine’s error for his second and his team’s fourth as Vénus became the first Tahitian side to reach the OFC Champions League final since AS Tefana a decade ago.
Vénus will discover their opponents in Wednesday’s final when Auckland City take on Central Coast in the second semi-final later today.
AS Vénus 4 (Teaonui TEHAU 17’, Tauhiti KECK 23’, 79’, Roonui TEHAU 27’)
Hienghène Sport 0