OFC CL Qualifying Stage review

The OFC Champions League 2020 began with the Qualifying Stage tournament in Auckland in January.

The Qualifying Stage faced some early challenges due to the measles epidemic in Samoa where it was originally meant to be held.

The epidemic saw the tournament shifted to New Zealand, while American Samoa’s Pago Youth SC were unable to make the trek to New Zealand due to a travel ban imposed by their government.

This left three teams – Samoa’s Lupe Ole Soaga SC, Tonga’s Veitongo FC and Cook Islanders Tupapa Maraerenga FC – fighting for two spots in the main draw of the OFC Champions League.

After three games, Lupe topped the table with Tupapa securing the second available spot but Veitongo provided their share of highlights with two of the tournament’s best goals.

As you can see in the video above, Veitongo’s Hemaloto Polovili was in the thick of the action during his team’s 2-2 draw with Tupapa as he scored two sublime individual goals.

His first, a powerful left-foot strike, came in the opening minutes of the match and found the bottom corner of the net to put his team ahead.

He went one better for his next trick though as he delivered a pinpoint free kick into the top corner of the goal, much to the delight of the Tongan fans in attendance.

This proved to be the most entertaining match of the Qualifying Stage as Tupapa’s second goal from Harlem Simiona secured the draw that sent them through to the tournament proper.

During the coming weeks, the OFC media team will review each group of the OFC Champions League 2020 with more of the top goals set to be featured.

Ends

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