Two time winners Auckland City have won their way into the OFC O-League final after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Waitakere United in the penultimate round.
The 2009 champions are set to face Vanuatu’s Amicale who have all but mathematically qualified following their remarkable 5-1 win over Lautoka, which provides a three-point and 13-goal margin at the top with one round remaining. Amicale now need only to avoid a mammoth defeat against Koloale in their final match to ensure a first appearance in an O-League final by a Vanuatu club.
Striker Fenedy Masauvakalo led from the front for Amicale in front of 7,000 ecstatic home supporters scoring a hat-trick. Amicale raced out of the blocks and held an incredible 4-0 lead at the interval despite losing Young Paul to a red card midway through the half. With six goals to his credit in the competition, Masauvakalo now has a three-goal margin at the top of the goalscoring chart ahead of a host of players.
Reigning champions Hekari United were eliminated with a 2-1 loss in the Solomon Islands against a revitalised Koloale. Participants in the FIFA Club World Cup just last December, the Papua New Guinea club now sit at the bottom of the ladder with just one victory from their five matches. The Solomon Islanders recording their second successive win on the trot after losing their opening three matches.
In Group B, Auckland relied on an early Stuart Kelly goal to see off the challenge of city rivals and 2010 finalists Waitakere United. New Caledonia’s AS Magenta moved into second, four points from the summit, with a 3-0 victory at Tahiti’s AS Tefana in a one-sided French Polynesian derby.