Kiwi FC have continued Samoa’s dominance within their region of Polynesia after winning through to this year’s OFC Champions League group stage.
Samoa champions Kiwi FC advanced after winning the OFC Champions League preliminary stage held over the past week in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
But once again Samoa’s representatives only saw off their rivals by a narrow margin. Traditionally the top dog among a quartet that also includes American Samoa, Cook Islands and Tonga, Samoa only progressed by the skin of its teeth from the first stage of FIFA World Cup™ during the past two campaigns.
As it was the Samoa club champions headed into Matchday 3 requiring only a draw to guarantee the title, but they celebrated in style with a 7-1 drubbing of Tonga’s Veitongo.
However, their success was not as clear cut as it may have seemed with Kiwi only edging a tense 2-1 matchday 2 win over second-placed Cook Islanders Tupapa Maraerenga.
Kiwi will now compete alongside Fiji’s Nadi, AS Magenta of New Caledonia and Tahiti’s AS Tefana in Group C of the 12-team event in New Zealand during April.
“For us now we will keep our squad as it is for the OFC Champions League,” said Kiwi FC coach Martin Tamasese. “Our national league starts soon and we will develop a programme for our overseas-based players as well.”
The overall winner will represent Oceania in the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup.