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Final Four Teams Look Ahead To OFC Men's Champions League Semi-finals

Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek

With the group stage having reached a thrilling conclusion, the semi-final stage at the OFC Men's Champions League kicks off this week in Tahiti.

Defending champions Auckland City FC meet New Caledonia's AS Magenta at Stade Pater at 2pm on Wednesday, May 22 (local time), with Albert Riera's side looking to win a record-extending 12th Champions League title.

Riera is confident however that his team will thrive under the pressure that comes with being favourites.

"When you're playing in these games, it's the pressure that you want to have, it's a positive pressure. For clubs like us, when you play in these games with a lot of pressure, it's where you play your best," Riera said.

Their opponents on Wednesday, AS Magenta, have had little time to recover - with their final group stage match having been played on Monday. Coach Pierre Wajoka is conscious of the importance of recovery for his squad.

"The preparation really has to do with care and recovery. A lot of recovery," said Wajoka.

"Football can be complicated and we don't want to make it any more complicated, so I would say the key words for us are care and recovery," he continued.

The second semi-final of the day sees host nation side AS Pirae face Fiji's Rewa FC at 6pm at the same stadium.

For AS Pirae, the tournament represents an opportunity to use their position as hosts to their advantage and go one better than last year's semi-final place.

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Coach Vatea Terai is confident his players will be aware of the opportunity in front of them.

"Of course, the players are determined to fly the flag for the club and for country. On that note, we're still hoping that the public will come out to support us tomorrow evening for the semi-final."

"The message [to the players] remains the same: stay the same, play the same way, put the ball in the net as we're used to doing, and above all believe in ourselves and be effective tomorrow night," Terai said.

Rewa FC coach Rodeck Singh knows very well the challenge that his team will be up against in their bid to make the final.

"I've seen them [AS Pirae] through all their group matches and they're a quality side."

"They know what they are doing, everything they do is well planned, well trained, and for us to play them is a great opportunity to test ourselves as individuals, test me as a coach, test us as a district, and also we need to be top quality to match them," Singh remarked.

OFC Men's Champions League 2024

Semi-final 1

May 22

Auckland City v AS Magenta, 2:00pm (local time)

Semi-final 2

May 22

AS Pirae v Rewa FC, 6:00pm (local time)

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