OFC Men’s Champions League 2015

The 14th edition of the OFC Champions League was held in 2015 and was contested between twelve clubs. The entirety of the tournament was hosted in Fiji.

Host club Ba FC were grouped alongside AS Pirae, ASC Gaica, and Lupe Ole Soaga SC in Group A, whilst four-time defending champions Auckland City FC were joined by Amicale FC, Western United FC, and Suva FC in Group B, and Team Wellington were drawn alongside Hekari United FC, AS Tefana, and AS Tafea in Group C. Once again Ba FC used the home conditions at Govind Park to their advantage, topping Group A with three wins and nine points.

Saula Waqa stood out with a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory over Lupe Ole Soaga, and both goals in a 2-0 win over AS Pirae. Despite losing 0-3 to Ba, Gaica joined their hosts in the semi-finals as the best second-placed team with big wins over the remaining two clubs in the group. Auckland City FC made short work of Group B, winning all of their group fixtures by a 3-0 scoreline, including a rematch of the 2014 final with Amicale FC. They topped the group as such, whilst two-time runners-up Amicale exited at the group stage for the first time since 2012, despite picking up victories in their two other group fixtures with Western United FC and Suva FC.

Wellington’s Justin Gulley looks to block Ba’s Manasa Nawakula’s shot. 2015 Fiji Airways OFC Champions League, Semi Final 2, Ba FC v Team Wellington, ANZ Stadium, Suva, Tuesday 21st April 2015. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.fb.phototek.nz

All of the scorelines in Group C were tight, but Team Wellington managed to battle through with victories over the other three clubs to qualify for the semi-finals. They edged AS Tefana 2-1, Hekari United FC 2-0, and Tafea FC 3-2, to top the group with maximum points. Hekari United FC finished second with wins over the other two clubs, but it wasn’t enough to progress as one of the best second-placed sides. ASC Gaica made Auckland City work hard in the first semi-final, but a decisive second half strike from Marko Dordevic was enough for the four-time defending champions to progress to the final with a 1-0 win. Team Wellington made it an all-New Zealand affair in the final, after defying the Fijian crowd to beat Ba FC 2-0 with two early goals from Michael Gwyther.

Tefana’s Alvin Tehau comes in hard on Tafea’s Jean Kaltack. 2015 Fiji Airways OFC Champions League, AS Tefana v Tafea FC, ANZ Stadium, Suva, Wednesday 15th April 2015. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.fb.phototek.nz

For the first time since the inaugural edition in 1987, the OFC Champions League final was decided by a penalty shootout as Auckland City FC edged out rivals Team Wellington 4-3 after finishing 1-1 in normal time, to claim their fifth consecutive and seventh continental title overall. Auckland City’s Joao Morreira and Team Wellington’s Ian Hogg cancelled each other out with goals in normal time, before Dae-Wook Kim slotted the winning penalty in the shootout to spark wild celebrations from the Auckland City team at HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.

Auckland celebrate winning the 2015 OFC Champions League. 2015 Fiji Airways OFC Champions League Final, Auckland City FC v Team Wellington, ANZ Stadium, Suva, Sunday 26th April 2015. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.fb.phototek.nz

Auckland City captain Ivan Vicelich received the golden ball, whilst goalkeeper Tamati Williams was awarded the golden glove. Ba FC’s Saula Waqa claimed the golden boot with his five goals across the tournament, and Suva FC received the fair play award.

Auckland City FC went on to represent OFC at the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, but fell to a 0-2 defeat to Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the quarter-final play-off.