30 Apr 2015

Auckland going back to Club World Cup

12:40 pm on 30 April 2015

Auckland City have won the Oceania Champions League football title for the fifth season in a row with a 4-3 penalty shoot out win over Team Wellington in the final in Suva.

Auckland's Joao Moreira celebrates his goal with his team-mates.

Auckland's Joao Moreira celebrates his goal with his team-mates. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The victory means the defending champions win $867,000 in prize money and qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan later this year.

A penalty goal from Joao Moreira just 14 minutes into the match opened the scoring in an at times tense affair dominated by Auckland City FC's possession-based game.

The Auckland defence restricted Team Wellington to only rare forays forward with their biggest threat from set-plays.

Team Wellington's most dangerous attack came courtesy of a wayward Takuya Iwata backpass that forced his goalkeeper Tamati Williams into an improvised but awkward headed clearance.

But the match took a dramatic twist in the second half when Ian Hogg lashed home a fully deserved equaliser with just six minutes left on the clock to make it 1-1.

If the first half of extra time was Team Wellington's, the second went in Auckland City FC's favour when Chris Bale was sent off and a second penalty awarded, only for Michael O'Keefe to save from Darren White and send the OFC Champions League final into a penalty shoot-out for the first time in Oceania history.

Tamati Williams turned hero again for the Navy Blues saving a Luis Corrales penalty while Ian Hogg blazed his spot-kick high over the crossbar.

O'Keefe kept Wellington in the match when he saved Mario Bilen's penalty but he could do nothing to prevent Daewook Kim slotting the decisive kick for a 4-3 win.

"It's a great feeling right now especially following the way we got there, if I can say it like that," a relieved Auckland City FC coach Ramon Tribulietx said following the match.

"I think we deserved it. We've tried to develop something over the last six years and when you put the kind of effort in that we have, life gives you some rewards and I think that's what has happened here tonight."

The Team Wellington coach Matt Calcott was still proud of the overall performance of his side.

"I thought we did really well in the second half, the pressure we stepped up on them, it's a bit of a lottery penalties and unfortunately they've gone through by the skin of their teeth," he says.

The victory means Auckland equal Real Madrid's record of five consecutive Champions League titles set between 1956 and 1960.

Level with Argentina's Independiente prior to kick-off with four Champions League titles in a row, Auckland City FC moved into third equal spot for most Champions League continental titles won, joint with AC Milan and Independiente, each with seven continental titles.

Only Real Madrid with 10 and Egypt's Al-Ahly with 8 have more while five of Auckland City FC's seven titles were won with Ramon Tribulietx at the helm.

In the individual awards the Fairplay Award was given to Suva FA, with captain Pita Rabo on hand to collect the trophy.

The Golden Boot went to Ba FC and Fiji U-20 striker Saula Waqa, while Auckland City FC goalkeeper Tamati Williams took home the Golden Gloves.

The Golden Ball, for player of the tournament, was awarded to Auckland City FC captain Ivan Vicelich in recognition of his abilities on the field, as well as his leadership and presence.