AS Dragon took a mental advantage over their Ligue 1 opponent AS Venus on Match Day 5 of the competition as a 2-1 victory put them just one point behind their fellow OFC Champions League 2018 representatives in the domestic competition.
The match, tight, intense and exciting, was the first loss for Venus this season and came at the hands of an efficient and determined Dragon side.
Dragon took just six minutes to set themselves apart from their opponents as Salomon Tevepauhu put the ball in the back of the net.
A short time later a corner delivered by Marama Vahirua was sent ricocheting off the post by Dragon captain Tamatoa Tetauira.
For their part Venus didn’t let the opener bring them down with two very close shaves coming from Tefai Faheau and Teaonui Tehau coming in quick succession.
The competition’s leading goal scorer Teaonui Tehau brought Venus back in line in the 18th minute when he ducked between two defenders to connect with a cross from Yann Pennequin-Le Bras and fire it past Benjamin Tardivel for his 11th goal of the season.
In the 36th minute it looked like luck may be falling in the favour of the club from Mahina when a handball from Tetauira saw Venus awarded a penalty.
Tehau stepped up to the spot sending an audacious panenka in the direction of Tardivel and his goal mouth. Unfortunately the captain put a little too much on his effort which cleared the top of the cross bar to deny his side the lead.
Vahirua, who had been relatively quiet throughout the first half, led the charge for Dragon after the break with four shots in five minutes putting Venus under pressure.
Dragon finally had the opportunity they had been waiting for on the stroke of the hour when a player was brought down in the Venus box and a penalty awarded to Dragon.
Captain Tetauira took his place behind the ball sending a powerful shot into the goal off the underside of the cross bar.
With the pressure of needing yet another goal at a minimum, two for the win, errors started creeping into Venus’ game, with the cross bar once again coming into action to deny Hubert Tauha from extending his side’s lead.
One last chance for Venus was forthcoming as Tehau tried to connect with a long ball from Gabrial Vakoume but his shot was little trouble for Tardivel.
In other results Tefana beat Punaruu 4-2, Aorai earned a 2-1 win oer Manu Ura, Pirae drew with the Tahiti U-19 4-4 and Central and Taiarapu drew 2-2.
Central are currently sitting at the top of the leaderboard just one point ahead of Tefana with Venus rounding out the top three.