Seven-times OFC Champions League winner Auckland City faced Ba in the first match of Group D. After facing some resistance, the New Zealand side found the path through the net and smashed the Fijian team by 6-0.
The pitch was not so good as Tahiti has been suffering from heavy rains recently. This match was supposed to be played at Stade Mahina but it was changed to Stade Pater in Pirae due to weather conditions.
Former All Whites head coach Ricki Herbert faced some difficulties on building the team’s line-up for this match since he made some strange but necessary arrangements as Ba only had 15 available players for the opening clash. Papua New Guinea international Alwin Komolong’s absence was something unexpected by the fans as it seems that he was signed just to play this tournament.
Auckland City did not do anything different from what people are used to watch in the ISPS Handa Premiership while Ba tried to surprise them using the counter-attack. The Fijians resisted for thirty minutes when Jordan Vale opened the scoreboard.
Vale’s goal opened the path for the Navy Blues as Emiliano Tade scored two goals in the late minutes of the first half to seal a 3-0 lead at Stade Pater.
The second half was not so different as the Navy Blues scored three other goals. Ba’s did not offer much problems to Auckland as goalkeeper Conor Tracey did not have many problems in the whole game.
Ba will have to improve a lot for their next match against AS Vénus while the New Zealanders will have the chance to seal their qualification for quarterfinals in the upcoming clash against Lupe o le Soaga from Samoa.