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Historic futsal crown on the line after group stages conclude

Kooline and AS PTT players shake hands (Phototek)

Solomon Islands champions Kooline FC and AS PTT Noumea from New Caledonia will face each other in the inaugural OFC Futsal Champions League title decider after finishing first and second  at the conclusion of the group stages at Auckland’s Barfoot and Thompson Stadium.

Meanwhile local favourites AFF Futsal an their Tahitian rivals AS PTT Noumea will meet in the bronze medal match while Vanuatu’s D’York Street and Suva Futsal from Fiji open Sunday’s proceedings with the play-off for 5th and 6th place.

 KOOLINE 4-4 AS PTT NOUMEA

Match Day 3 at the OFC Futsal Champions League tournament in Auckland opened with a top of the table clash between Kooline and AS PTT Noumea and the Solomon Islanders stunned their rivals when Philip Maeta struck in the opening minute.

The New Caledonians replied through Alwin Hou who finished a counter-attack soon after as the Solomon Islands champions appeared to be cruising.

However AS PTT fought back – a solo effort from Hary Hmalako was quickly followed by Christ Pei’s goal from a well-worked corner to make it 2-all and it was ‘game on’.

Pei then dialled up some magic with a quality individual goal to put AS PTT ahead.

Soon after a killer ball from John Ue unlocked Glenn Hnanganyan  to make it 4-2 to the New Caledonians.

Triple international Robert Laua’s back post finish set up a thrilling finale, and Anthony Talo scored from the power play to secure a draw for Kooline, meaning both teams’ destiny remained in their own hands heading into the final games of the group phase.

SUVA FUTSAL 1-12 AFF FUTSAL

With possible elimination from the tournament looming local favourites AFF Futsal went into their fourth match needing goals, and player/coach Marvin Eakins got the ball rolling to begin what became a scoring avalanche.

The Aucklanders had too much poise and tactical power for the struggling Suva team, and Kareem Osman, Jimmy Banks, Stephen Ashby, Josh Margetts and Thomas Picken all slotted home to put the home side six up at the break.

Hamish Grey, Adam Larce-Paulsen and Sean McIntee got in on the act immediately after half-time  A well worked move saw Vincent Pineau become the tenth scorer as AFF ook a 10-0 lead midway through the second spell.

Akitesh Kumar struck on the counter for a consolation goal for the embattled Suva team.

Tournament standouts Grey and Larce-Paulsen combined to set up Banks for a superb finish before Futsal White Dylan Manickum got himself on the score sheet to complete the rout.

D’YORK STREET 1-5 AS PIRAE FUTSAL

Though both teams were out of contention for a final place, there was still plenty to play for in the third match of the day.

A well organised Pirae took the lead thanks to Johnny Viriamu’s close-range volley, then Erton Maro and Viriamu were on target to make it 3-0.

The enterprising D’York pulled one back when Aubert Tales finished a counter-attack, keeping his side in touch as the teams went into the break.

But in the second period, David Auti fired home from the penalty spot and Gaetan Keha added a fifth from a quick break to give the Tahitians a four-goal cushion in the final analyses.

AS PTT NOUMEA 4 -0 SUVA FUTSAL

AS PTT went into the match knowing a win would secure their place in Sunday’s title decider and after an early opener from James Namuli they settled into a rhythm that the depleted Suva side could not break.

Further goals from Marcel Hnepeune and Stephane Haocas made it 3-0 at the break.

The second half was a tepid affair, with the only noteworthy action coming when Hary Hmaloko steered home with five minutes left on the clock to book a place in Sunday afternoon’s Pacific futsal showpiece.

D’YORK STREET 1-7 KOOLINE

Kooline, needing a win to cement top position in the group phase, dominated from the outset with Benjamin Mana completing a sensational hat-trick inside the opening five minutes.

With the game virtually safe, the Solomon Island champions took their foot off the pedal but still had enough quality to extend their lead to five goals before the break,  courtesy of Roberta Laua and skipper Coleman Mackau.

Mana added his fourth soon after the restart, but Kooline suffered a setback soon after, when influential goalkeeper Anthony Talo handled outside the area and received a red card, meaning he will miss the final.

To make matters worse, Moffat Kiriu hammered home for D’York from the resulting free kick.

Robert Laua added the final touch as Kooline eased to a 7-1 victory, setting up the inaugural OFC Futsal Champions League Final against AS PTT Noumea.

AS PIRAE FUTSAL 3-3 AFF FUTSAL

Despite being a dead rubber, AFF looked fired up from the start and after a dynamic opening from their youthful quartet of Adam Paulsen, Hamish Grey, Thomas Picken and Jimmy Banks, Futsal White Josh Margetts opened the scoring with a well-struck drive when AS Pirae were too static at a corner.

Margetts made it two from the penalty spot minutes later.

David Auti had coolly finished a counte-rattack for Pirae and it was 2-1 to hosts at half-time.

Vincent Pineau’s angled finish got hometown favourites underway in the second half but Jean Baptiste Tahirori and Vatea Barff both found the back of the net at the other end as an exciting last match of the day ended 3-3.

The two teams will meet again on Sunday in what is sure to be an entertaining bronze medal match.

UPCOMING MATCHES

5th/6th PLAY-OFF
D’York Street FC vs Suva Futsal
Sunday  08 December
Barfoot & Thompson Stadium, Auckland, NZ
KO: 10:00 (local)
LIVE STREAM: https://bit.ly/2PhWz7y
#OFCFCL  #DSTSUV

3rd/4th PLAY-OFF 
AFF Futsal vs AS Pirea Futsal
Sunday 08 December
Barfoot & Thompson Stadium, Auckland, NZ
KO: 12::00 (local)
LIVE STREAM: https://bit.ly/2Lw4PQh
#OFCFCL  #AFFPIR

FINAL
Kooline vs AS PTT Noumea
Sunday 08 December
Barfoot & Thompson Stadium, Auckland, NZ
KO: 14:30 (local)
LIVE STREAM: https://bit.ly/36arrgZ
#OFCFCL  #KLNPTT

Ends

 

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