The knockout stage of the OFC Champions League 2018 have been drawn and four enticing encounters await when the competition returns in April.
The official draw was held at the OFC Academy in Auckland, New Zealand this morning, outlining the quarter final match-ups, the semi-finals and finals for this year’s edition of Oceania’s premier international club competition.
OFC Competitions Director Chris Kemp said following four entertaining groups, the knockout stage of the OFC Champions League 2018 is also set to delight fans.
“We experienced excellent engagement from fans who followed the Group Stage and we’re delighted that so many have expressed their excitement ahead of the Knockout Stage,” Kemp said.
“The draw has set up some really exciting encounters with most of the quarter final teams set to meet for the first time in the competition.
“We look forward to the OFC Champions League getting back underway, after the international break, in early April.”
Team Wellington, who topped Group D in Honiara at the weekend will welcome Papua New Guinea club champions and Group A runners-up Lae City Dwellers to Wellington.
Solomon Warriors, runners-up in Group B, will again find themselves on the road as they also travel to New Zealand to play reigning champions Auckland City FC at Kiwitea Street.
AS Dragon, who won their group on home soil, will once again enjoy home advantage when they take on Fiji club Lautoka FC who finished behind Auckland City in Group C.
Finally, Group A winners and the only competition debutants still in action, Nalkutan FC will welcome Group D runners-up Marist FC who will be on the road for the first time after hosting their group at Lawson Tama.
Adding intrigue to this year’s competition for fans is the semi-final and final.
After two years of the same four semi-finalists and three editions of Auckland City and Team Wellington in the final, today’s draw, and the earlier elimination of AS Magenta of New Caledonia, ensured this won’t be the case in 2018.
One of the semi-finals will feature the winners of quarter finals one and two – the two which feature the New Zealand teams. Meaning should they beat their respective opponents in the one-off quarter final matches at home, they would then meet in the semi-finals.
The other semi-final will feature the winners of the match between Dragon and Lautoka, and Nalkutan and Marist.
Finally, the winner of Semi-Final 2 will get the first leg of the final played at home, before travelling to their opponent’s ground for the second leg which will take place in May.