Ba pull ahead but can not resist AS Vénus striking force

Ba played their best game in the competition, but still disappointed their fans after giving up a two-nil lead against the hosts AS Vénus. The Tahitian side could complete a comeback still in the first half to seal their spot in the knock-out stage of OFC Champions League.

Ba started very strong the match – differently from their previous two matches – and opened the scoreline with just two minutes in the clock. Samuela Drudru scored after a great run in the flank, passed the defender and with a fantastic finish he found the back of the net.

Eight minutes later the same Drudru was brought down inside the penalty box by AS Vénus’ goalkeeper Teave Teamotuaitau – a penalty was awarded for the Fijian side. The Solomon Islands international Benjamin Totori saw his shot saved by the keeper, but in the rebound the veteran put the ball in the nets. 2-0 ahead for the Fijian champions.

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Totori (17) celebrates his goal – Christophe Fotozz

AS Vénus was helpless in the first ten minutes, but started to bounce back slowly to the game. The comeback started when the full back Tefai Faehau made an excellent run in the left and found the captain Teaonui ‘Filou‘ Tehau free in the middle of the box to score the first for the home side. Seven minutes later, a perfect delivery from the Frenchman Yann Pennequin Le-Bras in a free-kick found the head of Kevin Barbe to put the ball in Beniamino Mateinaqara’s nets. The game was leveled again at the 36th minute of play.

But AS Vénus would have still time to pursue another goal to complete the comeback – and it came in a very bizarre way: a good setup play of the Tahitian side was going to be cleared up by Ba defense, Filou tried to block the shot – the captain succesfully blocked the clearance and the ball incredibly went to the nets of the Fijian side. AS Vénus went ahead in the scoreline still before half time.

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AS Vénus players celebrate – Christophe Fotozz

In the second half, Teaonui Tehau completed his hattrick with an easy finish with his head in front of the goal to score the fourth of his team and put Vénus with two goals upfront in the scoreline.

The Fijians had good chances to reduce the margin through the likes of Samuela Drudru and Benjamin Totori. Vénus was also very dangerous with its captain Filou and the prolific Tamatoa Tetauira, but the scoreboard remained untouched until the final whistle.

In the final moments of the encounter, Ba was recuded to nine players in a two-minute period: Laisenia Naioko received a direct red after a brawl close to the corner flag and Sanaila Waqacanikau received his second yellow and was also sent off two minutes later the captain Naioko.

Ba goes back to Fiji with 0 points in the competition in one of the worst participations ever in an edition of OFC Champions League, while the Tahitian champions proceeds in style and expect to make their life longer through the knock-out stage of the regional competition.

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