Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek

Defending champions Auckland City FC played out an entertaining opening day draw against Fiji’s Rewa FC in the OFC Men’s Champions League 2024 at Stade Paea in Tahiti.

The New Zealand side are looking to win a record-extending 12th title, having lifted the trophy last year in Vanuatu, and their third in a row following success in 2022.

After a slow first-half, the match sparked into life in the second 45 minutes, with four goals coming in less than twenty minutes.

Auckland City captain Cam Howieson broke the deadlock just after the break, firing in a left-footer from the edge of the box to break Rewa’s resistance. The lead only lasted a little over ten minutes however, when a quick-fire double put the Fijian side in front.

Rewa FC’s Josaia Sela gets his 2nd goal and celebrates. OFC Men’s Champions League 2024, Rewa FC v Auckland City FC, Stade Paea, Tahiti, Saturday 11 May 2024. Photo: Shane Wenzlick /

Joasis Sela scored both with almost carbon copy efforts – both well struck low efforts flashing past Auckland City’s Conor Tracey and threatening a major upset.

The experienced New Zealand side rebounded almost immediately, however. Howieson finding space deep in Rewa territory and playing a smart through ball for substitute Ryan De Vries, who flicked a smart finish past Isikeli Sevanaia to level matters.

Liam Gillion – who had been a constant menace to the Rewa backline – went close to a late winner, flashing an effort past the post and desperate dive of Sevanaia.

The sapping heat and humidity from a midday kick-off was taking its toll as the match neared the final whistle. Howieson came close to a second in the final minute of regulation time, his close-range shot saved at the second attempt by Sevanaia.

Rewa FC: 2 (Josaia SELA 62′, 65′)
Auckland City FC: 2 (Cam HOWIESON 50′, Ryan DE VRIES 67′)

HT: 0-0