We are profiling the eight teams who will compete for the OFC Champions League title in Vanuatu next month. This week we look at Tahitian side AS Pirae.

(Photo credit: Christophe Fotozz )

A powerhouse of Tahitian football, AS Pirae have won the Tahiti Division Fédérale nine times, most recently in the 2021-22 season. They are the first Tahiti side to reach the OFC Champions League final, in 2006. Pirae competed at the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup after being nominated as Oceania representatives following the cancellation of the 2021 OFC Champions League due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Pirae lost 4–1 in the Club World Cup play-off match in Abu Dhabi against hosts Al Jazira.

How AS Pirae qualified for the 2023 OFC Champions League

Pirae were impressive in defeating AS Dragon over two legs in the Tahiti National Club Playoffs. After a 2-0 win over the then league leaders in the first leg, Pirae effectively killed the tie as a contest scoring twice in a five-minute period early in the second leg before going on to win 5-3 and complete a 7-3 aggregate triumph.

The coach’s approach and hopes for the tournament

Raimoana Bennett 

“I think we have to be confident, otherwise there’s no point in even trying! We need to put all the chances on our side and I place all my trust in the hands of… or more precisely in the feet of my players. They know that regardless of who they are, whether they are substitutes or my best players, whether they are on the bench or on the field, I will trust them 100% to try and win. And, of course to go as far as possible in this competition, which is what we all want!”

Star Player: Heimano Donovan Bourebare is a veteran midfielder and the team captain. He is one of the most consistent players in the side, having a lot of experience playing in several Champions League campaigns and also for the Tahitian national side that played in the Confederations Cup in Brazil in 2013.

AS Pirae Fixtures (Port Vila)

Monday May 15: v Tiga Sport KO 12:00 local

Thursday May 18: v Ifira Blackbird KO 15:00

Sunday May 21: v Hekari United KO: 12:00