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AS Pirae Is Heading To The OFC Men’s Champions League Final After An Unforgettable Semi-final Against Rewa FC

23 May 2024
AS Pirae edge out Rewa FC in epic OFC Men's Champions League semi-final

Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek

Tahiti’s AS Pirae will play in the OFC Men’s Champions League final after a semi-final for the ages against Fiji’s Rewa FC at Stade Pater.

Two late penalties – both scored in second-half stoppage-time – seemed to be enough to send Vatea Terai’s side into the final before a 99th minute goal from Rewa forced extra-time.

AS Pirae then struck twice in extra-time to ensure they will face Auckland City on Friday evening in the OFC Men’s Champions League final.

As was expected, the opening exchanges were fast and frenetic, with both sides keen to stamp their authority on proceedings early on.

Sandro Tau was presented with a golden opportunity inside ten minutes to give the home crowd something to cheer but he headed wide whilst unmarked from a Désiré Ngiamba cross.

Rewa FC nearly responded immediately. Josaia Sela – who has been a constant goal threat all campaign – found himself one-on-one with Francois Decoret but the goalkeeper did well to smother Sela’s efforts to beat him.

A little over half an hour had elapsed when Rewa’s Valevou was fouled in the area by Taumihau Tiatia after miscontrolling the ball. Referee Matthew Conger pointed to the spot before Joseph stepped up and confidently slotted home, low to the goalkeeper’s right.

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AS Pirae’s tempo ticked up a notch in the second period, with Ariiura Labaste going close having been set up by captain Alvin Tehau. The forward’s shot however was straight at ‘keeper Isikeli Sevanaia.

Head Coach Vatea Terai ran in the changes during the second-half but despite dominating much of the possession and territory in the second 45 minutes, his side struggled in creating clear cut chances.

With the match ticking into added time, the host side finally got their equaliser. Désiré Ngiamba worked space on the right and his cross struck the arm of the Rewa defender, with the referee awarding the spot-kick. Ngiamba himself took the kick and smashed it home confidently.

Dramatically, only minutes later, a second penalty was awarded to AS Pirae and once again Ngiamba assumed responsibility. Showing nerves of steel to score into the same corner and complete the turnaround.

With the match seemingly won, Rewa managed one last herculean effort to force extra-time. Samu Kautoga rising to powerfully head home with 99 minutes on the clock and ensure another 30 minutes would be needed to settle the contest.

Eight minutes into extra-time and AS Pirae got themselves back in front for a second time. A well worked move ended with the ball being laid back to substitute Patrick Tepa and his low effort flashed in at the near post to make it 3-2.

The win and a place in the final was made secure with just under ten minutes remaining in extra-time. A delivery from the left-hand side of Rewa’s box was unfortunately turned into his own net by defender Peniame Drova.

AS Pirae: 4 (Désiré Ngiamba (P) 90, (P) 90+6, Patrick TEPA 98, Own Goal 111)

Rewa FC: 2 (Patrick JOSEPH (P) 35’, Samu KAUTOGA 90+9)


FT: 2-2

HT: 0-1

© Scoop Media

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