Following their arrival in Noumea on Thursday morning, nine-time champions Auckland City FC were keen to stuck into their work immediately in order to give themselves the best possible chance when they face local favorites AS Magenta in Sunday night’s OFC Champions League semi-final at Stade Numa Daly.
Despite the huge challenge that a one-off match away from home represents, Navy Blues’ coach Ramon Tribulietx insists his side is delighted to be in New Caledonia.
“We are very happy to be here, we have been here before and it’s one of those very beautiful islands in the Oceania region so we are very excited and very motivated,” said the Auckland City coach.
“You can already feel the heat, in New Zealand it’s getting a little colder right now so it’s good to have two or three days to adjust to the climate, the conditions the fields.
“It’s a big game for both teams so obviously we want to give it our best shot,” Tribulietx added.
“We know what’s at stake and we understand the difficulties of playing away from home and playing against a very good side like Magenta.
“We played them a couple of months ago so it will be a very tough game but it’s Champions League football and that’s what you have to expect,” he explained.
Auckland City’s match against AS Magenta will follow Sunday’s opening semi-final between Hienghene Sport and defending champions Team Wellington in Noumea and Tribulietx is hoping the double-header will live up to expectations.
“Hopefully there is a good turn out and it’s a good show for the people, we are playing for the people and hopefully the people will get entertained with two good games,” said the Navy Blues’ coach.
To view the results, match schedule and latest news for the OFC Champions League 2019