Vanuatu's Erakor Golden Star banking on South American flair

Erakor Golden Star are hoping home advantage and some South American flair can inspire them to a first appearance in the knockout rounds of the OFC Champions League football competition.

The Vanuatu National Super League grand final winners are competing in the regional competition for the third year running but are yet to advance beyond the group stage.

The Group C hosts open their campaign against Samoan champions Kiwi FC in Port Vila this afternoon and coach Benjamin Kalo Noel said they must treat every game seriously and as a must-win.

"This one is the first game that we'll be having (so) we have to take it more seriously and every game after this and for Wellington and Ba...every game we are playing it like we are playing most especially to qualify for the second stage, which is our aim. We are not underestimating them...everyone is preparing themselves for this Champions League and we are not taking teams lightly," Benjamin Kalo Noel said.

Erakor have bolstered their squad for the Oceania competition with a trio of South American players.

Benjamin Kalo Noel is confident defender Diego Galvão and strikers Alexandre Da Silva and Elias Silva Júnior will blend in well with the Melanesian style of play.

"Yes we have three from Brazil that are in the team with us to be the boost for the team. We tried to combine our players - not only the players from Erakor Golden Star but from other clubs also out on Vanuatu and then these three Brazilians are with us so maybe we'll have some flavour of football - Brazil and Vanuatu - with us. Hopefully we have confidence in what we are doing," said Benjamin Kalo Noel.

Team Wellington from New Zealand open their title defence against Ba FC in their early afternoon clash at Korman Stadium, while Group D kicks off tomorrow in Honiara with nine-times winners Auckland City up against AS Magenta from New Caledonia and hosts Solomon Warriors taking on Tupapa Maraerenga from the Cook Islands.