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AS Magenta And AS Pirae Settle For Goalless Draw

AS Pirae have confirmed their place in the semi-finals of the OFC Men’s Champions League 2024 following a goalless draw with New Caledonia’s AS Magenta at Stade Pater.

Having won their opening two matches, the host nation side knew a point would be enough to secure their passage to the final four. AS Magenta – who have one fixture remaining in their group campaign – were looking to build upon an impressive 8-0 victory over Vaivase-tai FC.

In a first-half low on chances but high on intensity, AS Magenta were the brighter of the two sides, Jean-Marie Hmaloko going closest in the early stages with a whipped left-footed free-kick drifting just wide.

The Tahitian club struggled to grab a foothold in the tie. The influential Désiré Ngiamba – Player of the Match against Ifira Black Bird – cutting in from the right before shooting tamely at Mickael Ulile in the AS Magenta goal.

The scrappy nature of the half was typified by a late tackle from Pirae captain Heimano Bourebare, the skipper picking up a yellow card for his lunge on Antoine Pereira de Carvalho.

Pirae picked up their performance notably in the second-half and could have taken the lead through Yohann Tihoni. Intricate link-up play led to the midfielder having space on the right-hand side of the box but saw his effort sliced wide of the near post.

Magenta continued to push however and came within inches of taking the lead with ten minutes remaining. A cross from the right was inadvertently deflected onto the crossbar by Matatia Paama, with goalkeeper Francois Decoret rooted to the spot.

The New Caledonian side almost stole it at the death when the ball ricocheted to Rodrigue Walone, who could only re-direct the ball agonisingly over the bar.

The stalemate leaves AS Pirae top, with AS Magenta needing to avoid defeat against Ifira Black Bird on Monday to confirm their place in the semi-finals.

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