Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek

Hekari United scored twice in the second half to secure a vital victory over Solomon Warriors in their opening match at the OFC Men’s Champions League in Tahiti.

Frank Ne’e’s side had the better of the opening 45 minutes and will feel they should have done better with the chances they created. Captain Gagame Feni guilty of squandering a number of opportunities to give his side a precious lead.

The pacey forward had the best chance of the first half just before the half hour mark, making the most of Hekari United’s high backline to sprint in behind but could only fire straight at goalkeeper Dave Tomare when one-on-one.

The Papua New Guinea side had a half chance towards the end of the first period, but Erick Joe could only slice his effort wide from a tight angle in the penalty area.

Hekari United came alive in the second half, creating a number of chances as Solomon Warriors began to fade.

Solomon Warriors Willy Daudau makes a run. OFC Men’s Champions League 2024, Solomon Warriors v Hekari FC, Stade Paea, Tahiti, Saturday 11 May 2024. Photo: Shane Wenzlick /

Only two minutes were on the clock in the second 45 when Yagi Yasasa conjured a stunning volley from the edge of the area. Seemingly goal bound, Timothy Maearasia leapt to his right and spectacularly tipped the ball over the bar to keep the score level.

The breakthrough came on the 70th minute, courtesy of Ati Kepo. The forward driving with the ball in the inside-right channel and firing an unstoppable effort into the top corner, in off the post.

A crucial second arrived in the 82nd minute. Substitute Rex Naime – who had missed a good chance earlier in the half – found himself in a similar position and made no mistake the second time around, calmly slotting past the keeper to put the result beyond doubt.

With the earlier match between Rewa FC and Auckland City FC finishing 2-2, Hekari United are now in the box seat in Group A as they seek a semi-final berth.

Solomon Warriors: 0
Hekari United: 2 (Ati KEPO 70′, Rex NAIME 82′)

HT: 0-0