Ifira Black Bird will be eager to continue their winning streak and cause an upset this afternoon when they take on Port Vila Super League defending champions Erakor Golden Star for a place in the 2018 OFC Champions League.
The two teams, along with Amical and Tupuji Imere qualified for the 2017 Super League after finishing in the top four of the PVFA Premier Championship, which sees the two top teams play for automatic qualification to the final in game A, and the third and fourth team play for a semi-final spot in game B. The loser of Game A then plays the winner of Game B to qualify for the final.
Ifira have the upper hand leading into the final after finishing at the top of the PVFA Premier Championship, and beating Erakor in a penalty shootout in their first encounter last month.
The neck-and-neck physical encounter saw both teams down to 10 players and goalless after 90 minutes, but Ifira Black Bird dominated from the penalty spot to win 3-0.
As winner of the match between the two top teams, Ifira Black Bird continued straight to the final while Erakor Golden Star had to defeat the winner of the third and fourth play-off – Amicale FC – for a second chance against Ifira.
Erakor ended Amicale’s hopes of making a return to the regional tournament with a narrow 1-0 win courtesy of a stunning Tony Kaltack strike, setting the defending champions up for the rematch against Ifira.
Erakor Golden Star and Ifira Black Bird will meet in Port Vila at 2pm on Saturday 8 July to determine who will represent Port Vila and Vanuatu at the 2018 OFC Champions League.