Trio kick-off road to Oceanian club glory

  • 2020 OFC Champions League opens with all-Polynesian preliminary round

  • 16-team tournament concludes in May

  • Champions Hienghene Sport featured at recent FIFA Club World Cup

The 19th edition of the OFC Champions League will kick-off on Saturday as Oceania’s club aspirants seek to reprise the success of New Caledonia’s Hienghene Sport and win their way to the world stage.

The three-team preliminary round features Samoa’s Lupe Ole Soaga, Tongan side Veitongo and Cook Islands representatives Tupapa Maraerenga.

The top sides in the preliminary round, which concludes on Friday in Auckland, will progress to the 16-team group stage to be played during February and March.

The top two sides from each group will advance to the quarter-finals, which will be played on 4-5 April with the semi-finals to be contested on 25-26 April. The final is scheduled for 16 May.

Champions Hienghene Sport impressed in their sole appearance at last year’s FIFA Club World Cup before being defeated by local side Al Sadd.

The 2020 Club World Cup will be held in Qatar during December.

Group A: Hienghene Sport (New Caledonia), Eastern Suburbs (New Zealand), Hekari United (Papua New Guinea), Galaxy FC (Vanuatu)

Group B: Malampa Revivors (Vanuatu), Lae City (Papua New Guinea), Henderson Eels (Solomon Islands), Lautoka (Fiji)

Group C: AS Magenta (New Caledonia), AS Tiare Tahiti (Tahiti), Solomon Warriors (Solomon Islands), preliminary stage runner-up

Group D: Auckland City FC (New Zealand), Ba FC (Fiji) and AS Venus (Tahiti), preliminary stage winner