A second-half rocket from Bong Kalo secured a win for 10-man Galaxy FC of Vanuatu over AS Vénus but the Tahitian side still advance into the final four of the OFC Champions League 2022 as Group A winners.
Following Central Coast FC’s win over Lae City FC in the day’s other Group A fixture Galaxy were already eliminated from this year’s competition. However, the Vanuatu side were still prepared to give their all against the already qualified AS Vénus.
The Port Vila-based side almost took an early lead when confusion at the back left Andre Batick with an opportunity which was well blocked by Kevin Barbe, with Kensi Tangis blasting over the follow-up.
Vénus meanwhile needed to avoid defeat by five clear goals to ensure they finished top of the group and Teaonui Tehau came close to giving them the lead, forcing Joshua Willie into a sprawling save.
A tame first period ended in disappointment for Galaxy, as they were reduced to 10-men when referee CK Kawana-Waugh showed Batick a straight red card for a lunging challenge on Barbe.
Despite their precarious position, Galaxy were looking to earn some pride with a first win of the tournament and shocked the Tahitian side in the second-half. Kalo found himself in space 25-yards out before hitting a dipping strike beyond Teave Teamotuaitau.
Vénus captain Tehau then had two headed chances to pull his team level, clipping the crossbar with his first attempt before Willie’s starfish save kept his second effort out.
Galaxy had chances to put themselves out of sight but Kalo placed his strike wide before Joe Moses cannoned his effort over the bar with the Vénus goal gaping.
Tehau had further chances to spoil the Galaxy exit party but Galaxy held on to depart the tournament on a high.
Vénus are now likely to face either Rewa or Hienghène Sport in the semi-finals, depending on the result of their Group B decider on Thursday.
AS Vénus 0
Galaxy FC 1 (Bong KALO 54’)