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Auckland City FC 2, AS Tefana 1
Kiwitea Street, Auckland, April 29 2012

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If big finals are your thing and Auckland is your town you were spoiled rotten this weekend. Following on from last night’s NZFC Final, today was the first leg of the Oceania Football Confederation Champions League Final between Auckland City and AS Tefana of Tahiti.

Kiwitea Street continues to be, for my money, the best club football ground in New Zealand. Today even more so. The singing and clapping ultras, the drummer man and the City anthem blaring through the PA system were enhanced and complimented by wonderful Tefana supporters strumming ukuleles playing soulful Island melodies.

The match itself was a classic final slugfest. A tight encounter with a healthy dose of agro. By half time there were 3 well deserved yellow cards, one very fortunate Tefana player who escaped red by the skin of his teeth, lots of niggle and two unbeaten goalkeepers. City always looked the more dangerous of the two sides with Tefana, while happy to attack, always keeping plenty of numbers back as insurance.

The Tahitians would have loved a draw to take back home for the second leg but unfortunately for them it wasn’t to be as two quick fire Auckland goals in the 56th and 60th minutes put pay to that ambition. Instead though they were able to achieve the next best thing – Axel Williams managed a beautiful chip over City goalkeeper Spoonley in the 70th minute to earn a gutsy away goal. Thanks to that, a 1-0 win at home for Tefana is all that’s required to clinch the tie and the immensely prized place in the Club World Cup that’s up for grabs.

Count them out at your peril. The last New Zealand team they played at their Stade Louis Ganivet was destroyed 3-1.

Categories: OFC Champions League

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

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