The national stage of the upcoming 2023 edition of the most important club football tournament of Oceania is very close – the national play-offs of the OFC Champions League are going to be played throught this February and March. The next Saturday (11th Feb) mark the start of the competition as the national play-offs are going to be played in Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia.
After a thrilling grand final match of the PNG National Soccer League last weekend, both Hekari United and Lae City FC will play each other again. This time the first leg will be played at Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium and in the following weekend the decisive match at Sir John Guise Stadium, Port Moresby – the winner will guarantee an entry in the group stage of the regional tournament.
Also this Saturday the former OFC Champions League winners Hienghène Sport will start their local battle against current Super Ligue champions Tiga Sport. Both matches of the contest will be played in New Caledonia’s capital city Nouméa, despite the protests of Hienghène that wanted to host a match in Koné at Stade Yoshida.
On 17th Feb the Tahitians of AS Piraé and AS Vénus will kick-off the national play-off at Stade Pater, Papeete. In the following weekend the two sides meet again, again at Stade Pater, to decide the Tahitian’s representative. The contest for the spot in Fiji will between Rewa and Suva – starting on 23th Feb. On 22th Feb Sia Raga FC and Ifira Black Bird from Vanuatu will start their contest at VFF Freshwater Stadium, in the same day it is expected the play-offs in Solomon Islands also start – but the two teams to take part are still to be confirmed. New Zealand will be the last nation to confirm its representative in the tournament as the title holders Auckland City will kick-off the two-legged play-off against Wellington Olympic on 11th March.
The seven winners of the play-offs will join the winner of the OFC Champions League Qualifying tournament, that is also to be held this February in Apia, Samoa. Teams from American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga will take part in the competition. The centralised tournament will count on eight teams separated in two groups, the top-two teams of each group proceed to the semifinals and then the grand final.
One thought on “OFC Champions League: National Play-offs are coming!”
I would really like to see some competitive competition here. For that, unfortunately, Wellington Olympic would have to eliminate Auckland City somehow.
But if we are looking at the OFC ranking / https://footballalphabet.com/rankings/ofc , is almost impossible right now for Oceania to have a strong rival for Auckland City.