OFC Champions League

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.

Host countries announced for OFC Champions League

Group A will be held in Vanuatu from 10-18 February, with local debutantes Nalkutan FC joined by Papua New Guinea's Lae City Dwellers, Ba FC from Fiji and the winners of the Qualifying Stage.

Tahiti's AS Dragon will host Group B in Papeete, which also features New Caledonia's AS Lossi, Erakor Golden Star from Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands champions.

Defending champions Auckland City will host their group for the second year running, from 24 February to 4 March, alongside Fiji's Lautoka FC, Madang FC from Papua New Guinea and AS Venus of Tahiti.

Lautoka FC qualify for OFC Champions League

Lautoka haven’t made an appearance in the region’s premier international club competition since 2011, and made sure their return would be a deserved one.

The side remains undefeated in the national league, topping the table with 34 points with one last match to play against Rewa.

Despite falling short in both the Fiji Fact and Battle of the Giants, Kamal Swamy’s side regrouped to ensure a fairytale run to the OFC Champions League maintaining an unbeaten run of 13 consecutive league games.

Erakor book Champions League return

Jacky Reuben was the first to open the scoring for Erakor with a well-placed attempt drifting just wide of Ifira’s diving keeper. Tony Kaltak was behind the second goal, firing the ball into the back of the net with a powerful header from a perfectly-timed cross to secure the win.

The defending champions’ journey to the regional competition has been anything but linear, falling short of the top spot in the PVFA Premier Championship to Ifira Black Bird FC, then conceding to the league champions again when both teams met in the first round of the Port Vila Super League.

Auckland in emphatic 11-0 win over Malampa Revivors

Western United’s rollicking 5-3 win over Papua New Guinea’s Lae City Dwellers earlier in the day drew them level with Auckland on points meaning the Navy Blues needed a point to confirm their place in the final four ahead of the Solomon Islands champions.

But the eight-time confederation champions never looked under threat, scoring early and never looking back en route to posting the biggest winning margin in the champions league era of Oceania club competition.

Tefana tested but through to semi-finals

In the earlier match Erakor Golden Star had been hoping to keep their dreams of semi-final qualification alive – even if by a long shot – but unfortunately for the Vanuatu side Rewa had other plans beating them 2-1 to claim their first points.

Marist eye upset in OFC Champs League deciders

But the Solomon Islands champions admit they'll need to be at their very best to upset hosts and Group D leaders AS Tefana in Papeete.

The Honiara club was 4-2 winners against Fiji's Rewa in their first match but suffered a frustrating 2-1 defeat to Vanuatu side Erakor in midweek.

They need to beat Tefana by at least two goals to give themselves a chance of progressing to the next round and coach Juliano Schmeling said anything was possible.

Everything on the line in OFC Champions League as Group D wraps

However with a match against rising Solomon Islands powerhouse Marist in their final Group D match, the race to claim that berth in the semi-finals alongside Team Wellington and AS Magenta is far from over.

For his part, Marist coach Juliano Schmeling believes if his side can pick themselves up following their loss to Erakor Golden Star, then anything could happen on the day.

“It’s definitely not easy with the way we lost our second match, but Friday will be a big day because at least three teams are still in the running.”

Malampa Revivors go down to Western United despite strong performance

Malampa Revivors opened with a significantly stronger performance in their 1pm fixture against Western United, forcing the speedy Solomons to fight to the final whistle for the 2-1 win.

Western earned an early lead when Joses Nawo sent in an impressive shot from the right edge of the 18-yard box in the 25th minute but the Ni-Vanuatu first-timers lifted their intensity after conceding and the rest of the half saw a more equal spread of possession as Malampa Revivors fought for the equaliser.

Erakor get OFC campaign back on track

Wanting to prove themselves a valid contender in this competition, Erakor Golden Star were hoping to make three points their own last evening.

However with Marist chasing their second win in a bid to set themselves up comfortably going into their final match the opening Group D match proved a thriller.

The Solomon Islands club champions almost made an early impression on the match when Atkin Kaua fired in a powerful effort that veteran keeper Chikau Mansale dealt with well.