(Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek)
A goal to grace any field at the highest level sparked ASAF Academy Féminine’s comeback and led to them being crowned inaugural OFC Women’s Champions League champions.
The New Caledonian side had needed a point from their final fixture against Koloale FC but fell behind in the 38th minute.
Up stepped striker Christelle Wahnawe. Two minutes after the goal she received the ball outside the box, turned and rifled stunning a volley into the back of the net
“It was a goal full of rage and it came straight from the heart,” Wahnawe beamed.
And it gave AS Academy Féminine the impetus it needed to go on and secure the title.
Midfielder Jackie Pahoa, who provided the assist for the second goal with a pinpoint freekick, says “we were really determined to win, and we gave it our all. We feel immense pride and our thoughts went straight to New Caledonia to our families and friends.”
Wahnawe says it had been a stressful two weeks but now they can finally relax.
“We were taking each match at a time, and I was feeling a lot of pressure and it was like a final to us and are really happy and proud of ourselves.”
For coach Coralie Bretegnier, she has immense pride in her players achievement.
“I want to thank the whole team, the players, the staff, and everyone who has supported the team throughout the whole journey. We showed tremendous character, and we showed the determination of the tea,” Bretegnier said.
And she felt the victory would prove inspirational for women’s football in New Caledonia.
“This is going to inspire not only the clubs but also girls to start football and raise their level and make them want to be where we are today.”