Lupe Ole Soaga

Group D still an open race

Team Wellington are also keen to secure a win and keep the dream alive, after dropping their first ever Group Stage points in the draw with Marist, when they face Samoa club champions Lupe Ole Soaga in the opening match at Lawson Tama Tuesday.

In the three previous OFC Champions League editions they’ve featured in, Team Wellington had never lost or drawn a match which makes the 1-1 draw against the favourites from New Zealand a feat for Marist.

Tupapa seal OFC Champions League return

The Cook Islands club last featured in the main draw back in 2001 and this is the first time they've progressed to the Group Stage via the Qualifier.

Sean Latimer put Tupapa in control with two goals in the opening 22 minutes and, along with Maro Bonsu-Maro, ended the match with a hat-trick.

Soakai Vea won a penalty for Veitongo after the half hour but lost his cool and was shown a red card.

Veitongo FC and Lupe Ole Soaga target final spot

RNZ reports the Tongan and Samoan club champions are tied for second place in the Qualifier standings, three points behind Puaikura FC from the Cook Islands, who have already confirmed their place in the next stage.

Lupe only need a draw against Veitongo to advance, thanks to a superior goal differential, while the hosts need all three points.

Player-coach Kilifi Uele said that means they will have to go all out.

Race for second spot in OFC Champions League Qualifier remains wide open

While Veitongo’s 3-1 win over Utulei Youth at Loto-Tonga Soka Centre sees them come into contention as they slot into the table just behind the Samoan club champions on goal difference.

Puaikura FC were the first to open scoring in this afternoon’s opener against Lupe Ole Soaga when defender Kris Carpenter’s head connected with a cross from Tyrell Barringer-Tahiri to find the back of the net in the 29th minute. Puaikura continued their momentum and found the goal again only a minute later when Maro Bonsu-Maro followed up poor clearance by Lupe goalkeeper Faalavelave Matagi.

Points hard-earned on Day 1

The tournament opener between Utulei Youth and Lupe Ole Soaga was a close and physical battle, with back-to-back goals from either side, leaving the three points hunt open to right up until the final minutes of the match.

Two goals from Lapalapa Toni and a goal each from Suivai Ataga and Samuel Malo trumped the three goals scored by Utulei Youth’s Paulo Bourne and Kenneth Kerewi, setting the Samoans on the right path ahead of their next match.