It’s time for the first of two legs in the OFC Champions League semi finals and for the first time in three years the final will not see two New Zealand teams play each other.
That’s because the finalists of the last three years, Auckland City and Team Wellington, will face each other in the semi final instead.
In the other semi final Lautoka from Fiji and Marist from the Solomon Islands will face off to determine who gets the second place in the final.
Team Wellington – Auckland City: Kick-off 22nd April 13:00 local time (02:00 UK time, tonight)
The two powerhouses of the continental scene in the last years meet once again, but unlike most their meetings, this is not a final.
Auckland have the upper hand this season as they finally managed to reclaim the national league title in New Zealand after dethroning Team Wellington in the final, ending their two-year hold on the title.
Auckland have also had the better results between the two of them in continental settings beating Team Wellington in all three OCL finals.
Team Wellington strolled through their quarter final against Lae City Dwellers from Papua New Guinea winning comfortably 11-0, while Auckland had a bit more trouble navigating Solomon Warriors from the Solomon Islands but eventually came through with a 2-0 win.
It is sure to be two great games between these two behemoths of Oceanian football and you can watch it all unfold here.
Lautoka – Marist: Kick-off 22nd April 15:00 local time (04:00 UK time, tonight)
The two meetings that will be played between these two sides will determine who will be the first non-New Zealand finalist since Amicale from Vanuatu in 2013-14.
It will also decide if it’s Fiji or the Solomon Islands who will end their final appearance-drought.
Fiji last appeared in a final when Ba lost on away goals to Waitakere United in 2007 while the Solomon Islands last appeared in the 2008 final where Kossa were soundly beaten 6-3 on aggregate, also they at the hands of Waitakere.
Both these teams have showed some good results against the two teams in the other semi final when they faced each other in the group stage,
Lautoka only lost to 1-0 Auckland City thanks to a late Emiliano Tade goal, while Marist came ever so close to shocking the Oceania football community by beating Team Wellington, but in the end had to settle for a draw as Angus Kilkolly rescued a point for Wellington five minutes before full time.
As for the quarter final results Marist used the first half to secure their victory over Nalkutan from Vanuatu as two first-half goals meant there was no way back for Nalkutan.
Lautoka had a much more dramatic match against AS Dragon from Tahiti as Brian Kaltack headed home a corner to secure the 2-1 win for the Fijians, in the 89th minute.
Who will take the upper hand in the battle for their country’s first final in ten years? You can watch it live here.