The coaches of Auckland City and Team Wellington believe Pacific teams are closing the gap in the Oceania Champions League, despite tomorrow's grand final being an all-New Zealand affair.
Papua New Guinea champions Hekari United are the only Pacific team to win the O-League, back in 2010, with Auckland 90 minutes away from a fifth straight title.
But Team Wellington coach Matt Calcott says the standard of play in the Islands is improving quickly.
"We're playing against a lot of sides that 60 or 70 percent of them are not far off national teams, plus on top of that they're adding five, six, seven professionals to it, so it's a very very good tournament now. I think there's a realisation now - especially from the New Zealand teams - that it's going to get harder and harder to get through to finals and to win the thing so we're quite respectful of that and I've seen some fantastic play from some of the Island teams in recent times but bit of a relief really to get through to the final and get past that stage".
The winner of Sundays final in Suva will qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup in December.