Thrilling match sees AS Magenta beat Tiare Tahiti to proceed to knock-out stage

The Tahitians of Tiare Tahiti tried hard to impose a defeat to New Caledonian powerhouse AS Magenta, but the green and white side could not resist the pressure of the talented attack led by Kevin Nemia. The brace of Manarii Porlier was not enough for the brave Tahitians to keep their dream alive in their first participation at OFC Champions League.

Magenta took control of the match since its start, but Tiare Tahiti was always very dangerous in the counter-attack with the Benin youth international Bio Odo Chabi. The bad news for the Tahitian side came when the young Odo Chabi sustained a muscle injury and could not keep in the match; in his place the Tahitian international Manarii Porlier was introduced – and he would have a fantastic match.

Already inside the 20th minute mark, Junior Tiaoao gets ball in the flank and finds Porlier inside the box, the attacker slides fast and touches the ball to the nets of Nicodem Hmaen to open the scoreline in favour of the Tahitian side.

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Porlier celebrates his goal – OFC Media

Porlier and Tevairoa Tehuritaua would continue to disturb the defensive system of AS Magenta. Tevairoa Tehuritaua had one great shot saved by Hmaen and clear chance in front of the keeper, but saved in the goalline by Damien Wanapopo.

The dangerous attacks of Tiare Tahiti and their good defense so far in the match, seemed to be enough to make them have a narrow advantage at the break; but in the final moments, a lapse of concentration in the back allowed the through ball of Fonzy Ranchain to find Kevin Nemia that with a strong finish leveled the score just before the half time.

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Nemia equalizes for the home side – OFC Media

The second half with Magenta battling for the second goal, but they would not imagine it would come so early and through an opponent player: Kevin Nemia crossed a ball after a free-kick in the box, the AS Tiare Tahiti defender Rico Haring headed it back to his goal, the goalkeeper Michel Manea could not reach in time and the ball went to his nets. Magenta upfront.

The match could have been done and dusted for Magenta, but Tevairoa Tehuritaua entered the box and was brought down by Damien Wanapopo. The New Zealand referee Mathew Conger pointed to the spot in sealed a penalty kick for the visitors. Unfortunately for Tiare Tahiti, Tevaihau Tehuritaua missed the chance sending the ball over the bar.

But there was still more to come: just one minute later the missed penalty, Ricky Mou received a good ball in the right flank; he delivered a quality assist for the super-sub Manarii Porlier to score his second in the clash, to seal a 2-2 in the scoreboard.

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A great individual performance by Manarii Porlier – OFC Media

Magenta knew they needed a win: they urged their forwards upfront and started to pressure the Tahitian defense. Kevin Nemia and Nathanael Hmaen had goalscoring chances, but both of them went wasted. The decisive goal of the encounter only came at the 87th minute of play, when Jean-Christ Wajoka found Kevin Nevia free in the box, the attacker head the ball to the nets to give the win to AS Magenta.

The final result could have different than 3-2: in the final moments of the clash, AS Tiare Tahiti had a series of corner-kicks and wasted chances. The first one was a direct attempt by Tevaihau Tehuritaua and it was saved by Nicodem Hmaen, the second attempt was the closest one as Manarii Porlier could have scored his hattrick, but his header hit the bar and was clared by the New Caledonian defense. AS Tiare Tahiti had another clear opportunity in the following corner, a defensive mistake allowed the ball to be headed towards the goal, but it was saved by Damien Wanapopo once again just on the goalline.

Magenta could deal with the pressure and collect the much-needed three points from the clash, a hard fought win enough to make them proceed to the next stage of the regional tournament alongside the Solomon Islands champions Solomon Warriors.

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Kevin Nemia makes AS Magenta go ahead – OFC Media

As the Cook Islands side Tupapa Maraerenga withdrew from the tournament and the Tiare Tahiti lost their two matches in the process, both Solomon Warriors and AS Magenta are qualified for the quarterfinals of the tournament. Both sides will met in the final matchday of the group C to decide which team will top the group and play at home their quarterfinal match.


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