Team Wellington 7 AS Magenta 1
Oceania Champions League, Semi-Final, 2nd Leg
Sunday 16th April
David Farrington Park, Wellington
Attendance : 950 (according to Oceania)

Champions League Football in Wellington!!!! The last time I saw a Champions League game was a UEFA one when Chelsea drew 0-0 with the Spanish side Valencia. But this was the Oceania Champions League and it was probably the biggest competitive club game ever played in Wellington.

AS Magenta Fans The JourneyFan
New Caledonia champions AS Magenta were the visitors. AS Magenta were originally formed as Nickel Noumea Sports Association before changing their name to AS Magenta. They are the most successful club in New Caledonia winning the Super Ligue 10 times and the New Caledonian Cup 15 times. This was their sixth appearance in the Oceania Champions League, their best performance coming in 2005 when they lost 2-0 to Sydney FC in the final.

This season they had the advantage of playing all their games at home, as they hosted a group. They beat Samoa's Lupe o le Soaga 2-1, Central Sport of Tahiti 4-2 and the magnificently named Papua New Guinean team Madang Fox 5-0.  They then hosted the first leg of the semi final where they drew 2-2 with Team Wellington.

Team Wellington are in their third OCL campaign, they have made the final in the previous two years but lost both times to Auckland City. This season they traveled to Kone in New Caledonia where they beat hosts Hienghene Sport 3-1, Fiji's Ba 8-0 and the Kevin Fallon coached Cook Islanders, Puaikura 4-1.

This was the third meeting between Team Wellington and AS Magenta, Team Wellington with the one win (2-0) and the other game being a draw (2-2). In fact this was the 12th time AS Magenta had met Kiwi opposition and they had yet to record a win.

It was a frantic start to the game, In the first 10 minutes, Ben Harris went down in the box and claimed a penalty, (but the ref correctly ruled play on). AS Magenta collected 3 yellow cards and Joel Stevens put Team Wellington 1-0 up.

Ben Harris goes down in the box The JourneyFan

AS Magenta were playing quite aggressively and made some shocking tackles. Referee Norbert Hauata could have dished out several more cards but he did well, diffused a couple of potentially explosive situations and kept control of the game. Team Wellington were dominating possession so it was a surprise when AS Magenta's Joerisse Cexome broke through the middle and slotted the ball past Scott Basalaj in the 34th minute. While Team Wellington were dominating, AS Magenta were looking good and making a game of it, that is until the 43rd minute when Jean Brive Wadriako inexplicably raised his hands to stop the ball going over him when he was on the halfway line, already having a yellow card the ref had no option but to send him off. Two minutes later Team Wellington captain Bill Robertson headed in a goal to make it 2-1 and 4-3 on aggregate going into half time.

Bill Robertson celebrates his goal The JourneyFan

Five minutes into the second half Team Wellington leading scorer, Tom Jackson cut in from the right flank and left the AS Magenta defence as bewildered as a colour blind snooker player, as he made it 3-1 and effectively ended any slim chance AS Magenta may have had of victory.

If there is one thing this Team Wellington team like to do it's score goals, before today they had scored 76 goals in 24 games this season (and amazingly in two of those games they failed to score!), their last three home games have seen scores of 6-6, 5-1 & 7-2! and today was going to be no different. Andy Bevin netted in the 64th minute, a couple of minutes later sub, Nicholas Zambrano, got one, before Joel Stevens got a 2nd and then with almost the last kick of they game Josh Margetts curled a beautiful shot into the top corner to make it 7-1.

AS Magenta were effectively reduced to spectators, they had been a lot more defensive in the 2nd half being down to 10 men, but they still made a couple of bad challenges, especially sub Jelewed Pierrot whose late tackle on Joel Stevens was more akin to assault and earned him an early shower.

Tom Jackson makes it 3-1 (5-3 on agg) to Team Wellington The JourneyFan

So Team Wellington won 7-1 on the day and 9-3 on aggregate, while Auckland City completed a 4-0 aggregate win over Tahitian side Tefana to set up an all Kiwi OCL final for the third year in a row. This year the final will be played over two legs. So if you are in Auckland or Wellington get along to see Champions League Football at it's best

Auckland City v Team Wellington
1st Leg
Sunday 30th April
Kiwitea Street, Auckland
Kick Off 2pm

2nd Leg
Sunday 7th May
David Farrington Park, Wellington
Kick Off 1pm