Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek

Whilst Group A at the OFC Men’s Champions League is proving a tough task to predict, Group B is arguably an even greater challenge as the action kicks off on Sunday in Papeete.

Whilst travel issues have forced Ifira Black Bird and AS Magenta’s match to be rescheduled, host nation side AS Pirae and Samoa’s Vaivase-tai FC will lock horns at Stade Pater.

For AS Pirae, it represents another opportunity to secure a maiden Champions League for the country. They were impressive last year in Vanuatu, topping their group with two wins and a draw ahead of Ifira Black Bird, before missing out on a place in the final to Suva FC in an epic semi-final encounter.

Head Coach Vatea Terai is confident a passionate home support will help his team.

“It’s a great honour to represent Polynesia at this competition. We hope to have the support of the locals. The group is ready and now we’re just waiting for kick-off on Sunday,” he said.

Having recently secured the Tahiti Ligue 1 title, Terai is certain their challenging domestic fixtures will stand them in good stead for the Champions League.

“After our qualification, we’ve had eight matches to prepare. We know that the playoff matches are fiercely contested, so there was no better preparation than those matches that helped us win the championship.”

AS Pirae’s coach Vatea Terai. OFC Men’s Champions League 2024, FTF Head Quarters Papeete, Tahiti, Thursday 9 May 2024. Photo: Shane Wenzlick /

Their opponents on Sunday are Samoa’s Vaivase-tai FC, who came through the OFC Men’s Champions League – Qualifying tournament earlier this year in Tonga.

Head Coach Horst Petana is well aware of the step up in challenge for his squad but insists his side can make their presence felt amongst the Oceania elite.

“This is going to be a step up for them in terms of the challenge, yes of course. We know it’s not that easy – it’s been challenging and we know we’ll have to step up,” Petana said.

“We’ll be focused. Like I said before, we’re not just here to make up the numbers, we’re here to compete and we’re looking forward to it.”

Vaivase-tai FC’s coach Horst Petana. OFC Men’s Champions League 2024, FTF Head Quarters Papeete, Tahiti, Thursday 9 May 2024. Photo: Shane Wenzlick /

Whilst Ifira Black Bird’s arrival has been delayed, their originally scheduled opponents for this weekend – AS Magenta of New Caledonia – are looking to make the most of their Champions League campaign – their first appearance since the incredible run to the final they enjoyed in 2019.

Head Coach Pierre Wajoka is hoping that his side will enjoy some local support from the New Caledonian population in Tahiti. With their opening match being rescheduled, AS Magenta will now play their first match against Vaivase-tai FC on Wednesday, May 15 (local time).

“We know that there are many New Caledonians who will come to support us – it’s normal in this country.

“We are lucky that our championship has already started, so we’ve had nine matches already. Our physical condition is good but it’s also about the mental condition of our players,” Wajoka said.

AS Magenta’s coach Pierre Wajoka. OFC Men’s Champions League 2024, FTF Head Quarters Papeete, Tahiti, Thursday 9 May 2024. Photo: Shane Wenzlick /

With only one match being played in Group B on Sunday, it represents an unforeseen opportunity for either AS Pirae or Vaivase-tai FC to steal a march on their opponents, in what promises to be a tightly contested group stage.

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