23 Apr 2015

Auckland City reach O-League final

6:38 pm on 23 April 2015

Auckland City Football Club are through to their fifth consecutive Oceania Champions League final after beating New Caledonia's FC Gaitcha 1-0 in Suva.

Auckland celebrates Marko Dordevic's goal.

Auckland celebrates Marko Dordevic's goal. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The defending champions had to wait until the 70th minute of the semi-final to slot the winning goal, when Marko Dordevic headed home a Daewook Kim free-kick.

FC Gaitcha, who qualified for the last four as the group stages best runner-up, rarely troubled Auckland City FC at the back with New Caledonian international Bertrand Kai their main goal threat.

Jim Ouka went closest for FC Gaitcha when he fired over from the edge of the box after a neat lay off by Kai.

Dordevic had an earlier chance with a header in the second half, but he failed to get a decent connection on it when he was virtually unmarked at the far post.

The big Serbian's frustration was relieved when he connected perfectly with the Kim free-kick to head powerfully beyond goalkeeper Rocky Nyikeine.

With Bertrand Kai removed from the match with an injury, out went FC Gaitcha's best chance of a goal and Auckland City FC clung on for the victory.

The Auckland coach Ramon Tribulietx was unsurprised how closely contested the semifinal had been.

"These one-off games are never easy and FC Gaitcha were pressing us high up the pitch but finally we capitalised on a set-piece," he said.

Auckland City now have five days to prepare for the final where they meet the winner of tonight's second semifinal between Ba and Team Wellington.