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OFC CL Group A review

Hekari United might not have advanced to the knockout stages of the OFC Champions League 2020 but they scored some thrilling goals in Group A.

Playing in front of their home fans in Papua New Guinea, the 2010 Champions League winners played an exciting brand of football.

Kolu Kepo’s finish against Eastern Suburbs was one for the highlight reel and Ati Kepo’s goal against Vanuatu’s Galaxy FC was also a cracker.

Group A proved to be a topsy-turvy one that came down to the final matchday where a range of outcomes were on the table regarding who would move on to the next stage.

New Zealand’s Eastern Suburbs went through the group unbeaten to earn a home quarter-final when the competition resumes following the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Galaxy finished second on goal difference, ahead of Hekari United.

“Overall, we are happy, and we do feel like we have grown in each game and very pleased to progress from this tough group. It’s fantastic for us,” Eastern Suburbs coach Tony Readings said after their final pool game.

“This is the first time for us in this tournament. I think everyone knew this was the toughest group so to get out of this is amazing for us.”

Reid Drake’s goal for Eastern Suburbs against Hienghène Sport was one of the best on display in Group A and it exemplified the competitiveness of the pool that Hienghène – the defending champions – finished last in the group and were unable to advance to the next round.

While he didn’t feature in the highlights video above, Eastern Suburbs striker Martin Bueno scored six goals in three pool games, a remarkable strike rate.

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