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Rewa FC Confirm Semi-final Place As Hekari United Bow Out

A goal from Rewa FC in the final minute claimed an exciting 3-2 win against Hekari United FC on the final day of Group A fixtures at the OFC Men’s Champions League 2024 in Tahiti.

With a number of permutations possibly dictating who would advance to the semi-finals, both sides started cautiously on what was a noticeably cooler afternoon at Stade Paea.

Hekari United came closest in the opening half an hour, with Ati Kepo and Rex Naime finding themselves in similar positions on the right-hand side of the box, only to shoot tamely at Isikeli Sevanaia on both occasions.

Rewa FC took their time to get into the contest but when they did, their dominance told. A solid run down the left from Epeli Valevou resulted in a cut-back to Iowane Matanisiga, whose clipped effort sailed over Dave Tomare and nestled in the far corner.

Knowing victory was likely their only passage to the last four, Hekari United came out of the blocks with added impetus in the second period.

Only ten minutes had elapsed when David Muta’s side were given the perfect opportunity to draw level. Kolu Kepo tripped in the area, with the referee immediately pointing to the spot.

Joseph Joe assumed penalty duties and cooly sent Sevanaia the wrong way to make it 1-1.

Only seven minutes later, the Papua New Guinea side turned the tie on its’ head. Solomon Rani was given far too much space in the box following a one-two with Joseph, beating Sevanaia at the near post from close range.

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Hekari United had a number of opportunities to secure the win but struggled to make their advantage tell, as Rewa searched for a way back in.

That way back in arrived with a little over 15 minutes left. Samu Kautoga arriving at the back post to nod in a looping cross for his second and to bring the scores back level once again.

With just seconds left on the clock and Rewa FC’s Tevita Waranaivalu determined to get on the score board, a low and powerful strike sent the ball past Hekari’s keeper in the 95th minute, ending the game with a 3-2.

The three point sees Rewa FC confirm their place in the semi-final, whilst Hekari United are resigned to a group stage exit.

Hekari United: 2 (Joseph JOE (P) 55’, Solomon RANI 62’)
Rewa FC: 3 (Samu KAUTOGA 41’, 74, 12 Tevita WARANAIVALU 95 )

HT: 0-1

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