Oceania Champions League 2018 group fixtures, kick-off times and scorers

The fixtures for the Oceania Champions League 2018 have been confirmed, with four teams enjoying home advantage in their respective groups.

The tournament uses four groups of four teams, with each group taking place across a week in the same location.

Unusually, Groups A and B will be played first from 10 February, followed by Group C and D from the 24 February. The final group games will be played on 3 March.

Vanuatu, Tahiti, Solomon Islands and New Zealand have been chosen as the hosts of the group, with holders Auckland City enjoying home advantage in Auckland in Group D.

The groups also Tupapa Maraerenga of Cook Islands and Lupe Ola Soaga of Samoa. They finished first and second out of Somoan, American Somoan, Cook Islands and Tonga champions in the Oceania Champions League qualifiers in January.

Saturday 10 February
Port Vila, Vanuatu (Group A)

Tupapa Maraerenga 2-7 Lae City Dwellers
Tupapa Maraerenga scorers: Sean Latimer (pen), Maro Bonsu-Maro
Lae City Dwellers scorers: Raymond Gunemba (4), Nigel Dabinyaba (2), Tutizama Tanito
Report

Nalkutan 1-0 Ba FC
Nalkutan scorer: James Naka (Pen)
Malakai Tiwa (Ba FC) sent off, James Nawo (Nalkutan) sent off.
Report

Papeete, Tahiti (Group B)

Erakor Golden Star 2-0 Solomon Warriors
Erakor scorers: Barry Mansale, Tony Kaltack
Bird sent off for Solomon Warriors

AS Dragon 4-0 AS Lossi
AS Dragon scorers: Tamatoa Tetauira (2), Reynald Lemaitre, Rainiui Tze-Yu
Warren Saiko sent off for Lossi

Tuesday 13 February
Port Vila, Vanuatu (Group A)

Lae City Dwellers 1-0 Ba FC
Lae City Dwellers scorer: Tutizama Tanito

Tupapa Maraerenga 0-4 Nalkutan
Nalkutan scorers: Azariah Soromon, James Naka, Raoul Coulon, Roddy Lenga
James Naka sent off for Nalkutan

Papeete, Tahiti (Group B)

Solomon Warriors 6-1 AS Lossi – Group B
Solomon Warriors scorers: Kensi Tangis (2), John Alick, Gagame Feni (3)
AS Lossi scorer: Morgan Mathelon
Report and highlights

Erakor Golden Star 3-4 AS Dragon – Group B
Erakor scorers: Jacques Wanemut, Elkington Molivakarua, Vakoume OG
AS Dragon scorers: Raymond Lemaitre, Teinaore Seino, Tamatoa Tetauira (2)
Joseph Iaruel sent off for Erakor
Report and highlights

Friday 16 February

Port Vila, Vanuatu (Group A)

Ba FC 4-1 Tupapa Maraerenga
Ba scorers: Samuela Nabenia (3), Narend Rado
Tupapa scorer: Sean Latimer
Report and highlights

Lae City Dwellers 1-4 Nalkutan
Lae City Dwellers scorer: Nigel Dabinyaba
Nalkutan scorers: Azariah Soromon (3), Richard Manuriki
Report and highlights

Papeete, Tahiti (Group B)

AS Lossi vs Erakor Golden Star
AS Lossi scorers: Mone Wamowe, Damien Wanapopo
Erakor scorers: Bernard Daniel, Barry Mansale
Report and highlights

AS Dragon 1-2 Solomon Warriors
AS Dragon scorer: Rainui Tze-Yu
Solomon Warriors scorers: Kensi Tangis, Judd Molea
Hennel Tehaamoana and Salomon Tevapauhu sent off for Dragon
Report and highlights

Saturday 24 February
Honiara, Solomon Islands (Group D)
AS Magenta vs Lupe Ola Soaga – 1pm
Marist FC vs Team Wellington – 4pm

Sunday 25 February
Auckland, New Zealand (Group C)
Lautoka vs Madang FC – 1pm
AS Venus vs Auckland City – 4pm

Tuesday 27 February
Honiara, Solomon Islands (Group D)
Team Wellington vs Lupe Ola Soaga – 1pm
Marist FC vs AS Magenta – 4pm

Wednesday 28 February
Auckland, New Zealand (Group C)
AS Venus vs Lautoka – 1pm
Auckland City vs Madang FC – 4pm

Friday 2 March
Honiara, Solomon Islands (Group D)
Team Wellington vs As Magenta- 1pm
Lupe Ola Soaga vs Marist FC – 4pm

Saturday 3 March
Auckland, New Zealand (Group C)
Madang FC vs AS Venus- 1pm
Lautoka vs Auckland City – 4pm

Top scorers

Raymond Gunemba (Lae City Dwellers) – 4
Tamatoa Tetauira (AS Dragon) – 4
Azariah Soromon (Nalkutan) – 4
Gagame Feni (Solomon Warriors) – 3
Samuela Nabenia (Ba FC) – 3
Nigel Dabinyaba (Lae City Dwellers) – 3
Kensi Tangis (Solomon Warriors) – 3
Tutizama Tanito (Lae City Dwellers) – 2
James Naka (Nalkutan) – 2
Reynald Lemaitre – (AS Dragon) – 2
Sean Latimer (Tupapa Maraerenga) – 2
Barry Mansale (Erakor Golden Star) – 2
Rainiui Tze-Yu – (AS Dragon) – 2
Maro Bonsu-Maro (Tupapa Maraerenga) – 1
Tony Kaltack (Erakor Golden Star) – 1
Raoul Coulon (Nalkutan) – 1
Roddy Lenga (Nalkutan) – 1
John Alick (Solomon Warriors) – 1
Morgan Mathelon (AS Lossi) – 1
Jacques Wanemut (Erakor Golden Star) – 1
Elkington Molivakarua (Erakor Golden Star) – 1
Teinaore Seino (AS Dragon) – 1
Narend Rado (Ba FC) – 1
Richard Manuriki (Nalkutan) – 1
Mone Wamowe (AS Lossi) – 1
Damien Wanapopo (AS Lossi) – 1
Bernard Daniel (Erakor Golden Star) – 1
Judd Molea (Solomon Warriors) – 1

A guide Oceania Champions League group stage teams

Who will win the Oceania Champions League? Chances are the two New Zealand teams will be the strongest in the competition – but other teams are in with a chance of an upset.

Group A:

Nalkutan FC
Vanuatu champions Nalkutan have home advantage in Group B. However, they will be without the mercurial talents of u20 international midfielder Bong Kalo. Fresh from a return from professional trials in Europe, he has suffered an injury on the cusp of the tournament.

Veteran striker James Naka and wonderkid Azariah Soromon – another who is rumoured to be heading to Europe – will provide the firepower and Nalkutan have a strong chance of qualification.

Ba FC
Fijian runners up Ba FC are one of the best supported clubs in the tournament and will rely on the goalscoring ability of Saula Waqa, who was top scorer in the recent Pacific Mini Games.

Having lost their opening game of the season 3-1 in appalling conditions in Nadi, the club was hit by a scandal when players were accused of being under the influence of alcohol. Not the best preparation, but a friendly win over champions Lautoka and the signing of three Canadians (Troy Watson, Nathan Howard Brown and Amal Singh) mean a top two finish could be possible.

Lae City Dwellers
Papua New Guinea side Lae – who have recently changed their name to Toti City Dwellers as part of a sponsorship deal – are favourites for the group.

They have won four out of four league games in 2018 including a stunning 7-2 thrashing of fellow O League qualifiers Madang and their chief threat comes from the superb Nigel Dabinyaba and veteran striker Raymond Gunemba. Tricky Solomon Islands winger Tutizama Tanito is an excellent signing and should provide the ammunition for the front two.

Tupapa Maraerenga
Cook Islands champions won all three games in the qualification stages of the Oceania Champions League including big wins over Tonga and American Samoa sides.

They struggled to a 1-0 victory over Lupe Ola Soaga of Samoa and will probably finish bottom of the group. They do have some threat though. English striker Sean Latimer and Cook Islands youngster Maro Bonsu-Maro both scored five goals in three games and will be the main threat.

Group B:

AS Dragon
Tahiti side AS Dragon have signed veteran superstar Marama Vahirua to lead their charge. The midfielder has played for Monaco and Nice in Europe and has scored in the European Champions League.

34-year-old French full back Reynald Lemaître has also joined and that mix of experience and local talent will make the Group B hosts a tough team for anybody in the tournament.

Erakor Golden Star
Vanuatu side Erakor Golden Star could be a formidable opponent this year, especially up front where Tony Kaltack has the potential to be top scorer in the tournament.

Much will depend on Ronaldo Wilkins. The youngster is a goalscorer and a special talent but may not play for Erakor after a transfer bid from Fijian side Rewa FC. Either way Erakor will want to qualify for the quarter finals to call the tournament a success.

Solomon Warriors
Solomon Islands champions Solomon Warriors could be a dark horse for the tournament. With a squad made up of internationals and striker Gageme Feni on form, they will have plenty of goals in the squad.

Keep an eye out for Vanuatu striker Kensi Tangis, who could be about to have a breakout season for the club.

AS Lossi
New Caledonia are one of the strongest nations in Oceania outside of New Zealand and AS Lossi will be a strong contender in a competitive group stage.

In 2016 they lost all three group games but should be better this time around. However, they are currently fourth in their league and a lack of form may be their undoing against some tough opposition.

Group C:

Auckland City
Auckland City have won the Oceania Champions League seven times in a row and are clear favourites to take the title once again. They have home advantage in the group and only Team Wellington look capable of stopping their charge towards another title.

Key to their hopes will be Argentinian striker Emiliano Tade, while Solomon Islands star Micah Lea’alafa is a match winner on his day. They are top of the New Zealand table and should win the group comfortably.

Lautoka FC
Fijian champions Lautoka ran away with the league title last year and will be aiming for second place in the group stage.

However, they recently lost 6-0 to Team Wellington and lost star midfielder Christopher Wasasala after his move to Labasa – a move that saw him suspended for not informing his club of the move.

Without him Lautoka look weaker, but should have enough to put up a strong showing.

Madang FC
Papua New Guinea runners up have had a superb transfer window, signing up Tommy Semmy, Patrick Aisa and Ronald Bala to add national team experience to their squad. They have also secured the signing of Papua New Guinea captain Michael Foster.

The club was thrashed 7-2 by Lae City Dwellers but will be confident the new signings will settle in time. They will target wins against Venus and Lautoka to have a chance of progression.

AS Venus
Venus are traditionally not as strong as Dragon but shocked the Tahiti league leaders by winning 3-2 in a recent game.

Their O League hopes hinge on the striking prowess of Teaonui Tehau, who scored a hat trick in that game and is the top scorer in the Tahiti league.

Little is known about the Tahiti side outside of the country but with a thriving domestic game and plenty of talent, Venus could pose a shock or two.

Group D:

Team Wellington
Losing 2017 finalists Team Wellington are the second favourites for the tournament and are well placed to end Auckland’s domination of the title.

The team is in form and the signings of Guernsey goal machine Ross Allen has added extra firepower. He is backed up by Hamish Watson, who has signed from Wellington Phoenix, as well as talented New Zealanders Liam Wood and Jack Henry-Sinclair.

Wellington drew with Auckland City in the league and must fancy their chances for a title at long last.

Marist FC
Solomon Islands side Marist’s preparations for the tournament have been disrupted by rain and a flooded training ground but confidence is high in Honiara that Marist may spring a surprise.

Atkin Kaua is a talented midfielder with an eye for goal while Henry Fa’arado is a legend of the game in Solomon Islands and will bring experience and leadership. Keep an eye out for 17-year-old defender John Aeta – one of the world’s youngest internationals and one of the best young players in Oceania.

Lupe Ola Soaga
Lupe Ola Soaga were unlucky to lose to Tupapa Maraerenga in qualifying but won comfortably against American Samoan and Tongan opposition to qualify.

The Samoans have a handful of dangerous players including Lapalapa Toni, a talented striker with an eye for goal. However, they are very much underdogs and will hope for experience in the tournament as opposed to actual points.

AS Magenta
AS Magenta could be one of the stronger teams in Group D and are a good option for second spot behind Team Wellington.

The New Caledonians have the benefit of one of the best young goal keepers in Oceania in Mickael Ulile, the 20-year-old national team keeper. Their main attacking threat will be attacking midfielder Shene Welepane, who scores plenty of goals and at just 20 years old has a huge future ahead of him for club and country.

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