BY ROMULUS HUTA
MARIST has resumed training for the Oceania Champions League (OCL) semi-finals which will kick off on April 22.
The national OCL rep resumed training just a day after they flew in from Vanuatu on Tuesday.
Marist qualified into a two-legged semi-final tie against Fiji’s Lautoka following last Saturday’s 2-1 quarterfinal win over Nalkutan at the Korman Stadium in Port Vila.
Marist travels to Fiji for the first leg of the OCL’s all-Melanesian semi-final tie scheduled for Sunday April 22 at the Churchill Park in Lautoka.
The return leg will be played in Honiara on Sunday April 29 at the Lawson Tama Stadium.
During the quarterfinal, goals from aging striker Abraham Iniga and Davidson Tome sealed a much-deserved qualification passage for the Jerry Allen-coached side to a debut last-four appearance.
For Lautoka, who boasts the inclusion of sensational Solomon Islands forward Benjamin Totori in its roster got their place in the semis after posting a 2-1 away quarterfinal win against AS Dragon at Stade Pater in Papeete on Sunday.
The Fijian side outplayed AS Dragon in Papeete to claim their place in the semi-final for the first time in the club’s history.
Meanwhile, the other semifinal features Team Wellington and Auckland City in an all-New Zealand semi-final, ruling out the opportunity for a repeat of the final for the three previous editions.
Team Wellington hosts the first leg taking on domestic champions Auckland City, who took out the domestic Premiership grand final between the two sides with a 1-0 victory on April 1, at Dave Farrington Park on Sunday 22 April at 1pm.
As mentioned, the two teams have met in the final of the last three editions of the OFC Champions League with Auckland yet to drop a match to their domestic counterparts in this competition to date.
Auckland City will host the return leg at Kiwitea Street on Sunday 29 April from 12.30pm.