16 Apr 2015

Team Wellington win again

6:28 am on 16 April 2015

Team Wellington have separated themselves from the Group C pack in football's Oceania Champions League with a 2-0 victory over Papua New Guinea's Hekari United in Suva, the New Zealand side's second straight win.

Team Wellington celebrate a goal at the 2015 Oceania Champions League.

Team Wellington celebrate a goal at the 2015 Oceania Champions League. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Two first half goals were all it took for Team Wellington to secure the top spot in Group C in their second match at the OFC tournament against 2010 champions Hekari United.

Hekari were here to play and from the outset pressed high, using their pace to try and split what has proven to be a solid Team Wellington defensive pack.

While their opponent was equally driven it took them a little time to find their rhythm.

Both goalkeepers proved outstanding with Michael O'Keeffe's readiness meaning he was quite often in the right place at the right time, with it being a similar story for Beniainio Mateinaqara at the other end for Hekari.

Despite Hekari holding the possession advantage, the persistence from Luis Corrales, playing out wide for Team Wellington, paid off when he cut back a cross from the goal line which was deflected off a defender between Mateinaqara and his post for the opening goal.

Hekari continued to dominate possession, ending the match with 60 per cent to Team Wellington's 20, they really found it hard to penetrate past a certain point and trouble O'Keeffe in goal.

30 minutes in, Hekari had already notched up four attempts on goal to Team Wellington's zero, with a number of those coming courtesy of Dennis Ifunaoa who was proving himself a dangerous threat up top.

However it was Team Wellington extending their advantage rather than an equaliser that came next, as Jarrod Smith put it past Mateinaqara from close range just ahead of the half-time break.

The second half, Team Wellington appeared to shut up shop in an effort to hold on to their lead and the desired three points.

"I'm pleased. It was good to get the goals in the first half, especially the one just before half-time," the Team Wellington coach Matt Calcott said.

"We were rapt to be two goals up at half-time. We just had to ensure that we were nice and tight for the second half and didn't give away too many chances. We ran the clock down well and had a couple of good chances on the break as well."

For Hekari coach Jerry Allen however, the disappointment of not being able to finish some certain goals hurt.

"I think we didn't deserve to be down two goals at half-time," he said.

"The boys played pretty well but we just conceded two goals."

Group C will be back in action tomorrow, with AS Tefana playing Hekari United at 4.30pm followed by Vanuatu Tafea FC against Team Wellington at 7pm.

Defending champions Auckland City, who have won their first two games, don't play their third fixture until Saturday, against last year's beaten finalists Amicale from Vanuatu, in a reply of last year's final.

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