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Oceania competitions wrap – Big result in New Caledonia and promotion in Fiji

Tavua FC celebrate their promotion in Fiji. Photo credit: FFA.

A huge result in New Caledonia’s title race, promotion secured in Fiji,  the start of women’s premier action in Tonga plus action from New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands and Vanuatu in this week’s competitions wrap.

Tiga Sport took a huge step towards potentially winning the Super Ligue crown in New Caledonia with a 3-1 win over nearest rivals Hienghène Sport this weekend. A first-half goal from David Bearune and a quickfire double courtesy of Williams Yentao’s own goal and Lues Waya earned victory, with Amy Antoine Roine’s 90th minute goal a mere consolation.

The result leaves Tiga six points clear at the top of the table with a vastly superior goal difference and just five games remaining in the season.

Tavua FC will be playing in Fiji’s top-flight next season after winning the Senior League 2022 playoff final over Seaqaqa FC.

Trailing 2-1 from the first-leg, goals from Mosim Khan and Sikeli Sagatoro earned Tavua a 2-0 second-leg triumph at the Fiji FA Academy in Ba over the weekend. That result secured a 3-2 aggregate score which will see Tavua ascend to Fiji’s Premier League for the 2023 season.

The TFA Major League Premier Women’s division kicked off in Tonga over the past week. Veitongo FC and Lavengatonga FC have laid down early markers with big wins in their opening two games of the campaign.

Veitongo beat Nukuhetulu FC 4-0 on opening day while Lavengatonga also won by four, defeating Fahefa 5-1. Veitongo then beat Toa Girls 5-0 in their second game of the season while Lavengatonga dispatched Havelu FC 3-1.

Meanwhile, in the Premier Men’s draw, fans were treated to a nine-goal thriller as Navutoka FC overcame Lotoha-apai FC 5-4 in the division.

Folaha FC and Nukuhetulu FC also won, 3-0 and 5-0 respectively.

There was a clear contender for goal of the season in New Zealand this weekend as All Whites midfielder Cam Howieson’s effort from deep inside his own half helped Auckland City FC jump to second with a 2-0 win over Wellington Phoenix Reserves.

However, Wellington Olympic remain top of the Men’s National League after beating fellow title challengers Auckland United 3-1.

Elsewhere, Melville United AFC upset Birkenhead United AFC 2-0 while Christchurch United and Cashmere Technical FC also picked up three points.

In the Women’s National League, Eastern Suburbs AFC continue to dominate, making it nine wins from nine this season with a 3-0 triumph over Capital Football. Their grip on top spot was strengthened further by second-placed Western Springs AFC’s 1-1 draw at Southern United.

Solomon Warriors remain top of the Solomon Islands S-League following a 3-0 victory over Kula FC. However, Henderson Eels FC are still hot in pursuit in second, with Raphael Lea’i scoring four in a 6-0 triumph against Real Kakamora FC.

Third-placed Laugu United Fc lost ground on the leaders as Kossa FC closed the gap to fourth with a 2-0 win.

There were a couple of thumping wins in the Cook Islands Premier Men’s Division. First-placed Nikao Sokattak FC thrashed Titikaveka FC 6-0.  Not to be outdone, Matavera FC also won by six, defeating Puaikura FC 7-1. Elsewhere, Tupapa Maraerenga FC beat Avatiu FC 3-1.

In the Senior Women’s division, Puaikura beat Matavera 2-1, Titikaveka defeated Nikao 2-0 while Tupapa and Avatiu played out a goalless draw.

In Vanuatu, Ifira Black Bird continue to look impressive, beating Galaxy FC 1-0 to maintain their 100 per cent start to the Premier League season.

Tupuji Imere remain in hot pursuit behind them after beating North Efate United 2-1.

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