Auckland City qualifiers for semis
By Taromane Martin
TELEKOM Soccer League (TSL) Champions Solomon Warriors FC is out of the Oceania Champions League football competition.
They were defeated 3-2 by reigning OFC champions Auckland City FC in their quarter final match yesterday at Kiwitea Street in Auckland, New Zealand.
Goals from Emiliano Tade and Micah Lea’alafa were enough to send the defending champions through for a semi-final date with Team Wellington later this month.
Solomon Warriors FC Head Coach Moses Toata was disappointed in his assessment of his team’s performance saying the difference the goals.
“The difference today was they scored two goals and we didn’t,” he said.
“It comes down to how we create our opportunities. We didn’t create enough today and we lacked the support play, especially in the attacking third.
“We created some good chances especially in the first half. We could’ve scored a couple and I thought there was a handball as well. But it didn’t come our way,” Toata said.
Auckland City Head Coach Ramon Tribulietx said they were pleased with the result and will now regroup for their semi-final with Team Wellington.
“It was going to be tough because of a number of things. Coming back from last week the mental side of things might not have been at the best and maybe the energy levels weren’t as high but we tried to play a good game in the circumstances and we competed well.
“We played a very good team – Solomon Warriors have some very difficult players to cope with in transition.
“When we try to keep the ball that’s when some of these teams can hurt you on the counter. And they had two or three very good chance to be fair to them. They’re a very good side and we’re very happy with the result,” he said.
Tade gave City the lead 20 minutes into the first half beating an outstretching Warriors goal keeper Izomo Bird.
Leading a goal up Auckland looked to keep possession to disturb Warriors impressive counter attacking, 40 minutes in the first half.
Micah Lea’alafa found the back of the net for the City against his former club 56 minutes in the second half to double the home side’s lead.
Moses Toata made his first change of the game in the 78th minute replacing Jerry Donga with Molea Tigi.
Auckland City goal keeper Enaut Zubikarai was called into action a minute later to deny John Alick’s goal bound shot outside the box.
Tribulietx brought Lea’alafa off in the 85th minute replacing him with Kris Bright as City dominated possession in the final minutes of the game for the win.