Ifira Black Bird is the new national champions of Vanuatu as they managed to beat Luganville’s champion Siaraga in Freshwater Stadium in Port Vila. The team coached by Robert Yelou had to made their best to score a late goal to confirm their favouritism and clinch the VFF Champions League title.
As the match headed towards the end of regulation time, it looked like the match would end in a draw and be decided by penalties. But in the 91st minute, Godine Tenene delivered a pin-point cross into the penalty area; Tonly Kalotang, the Ifira Black Bird striker, pushed the ball past the Siaraga goalkeeper, sending the Ifira Black Bird supporters into a frenzy. Siaraga had no time to react and Ifira Black Bird held the 1-0 victory. You can watch Kalotang’s goal by clicking here.
The Ifira Black Bird players celebrated their victory with their fans, while the Siaraga players looked dejected after coming so close to winning the championship. Tonly Kalotang was named the Man of the Match for his match-winning goal, and Ifira Black Bird was crowned champions of the 2023 VFF Champions League.
Both teams will still meet in a two-leg series to determine which of them will represent Vanuatu at the next edition of the OFC Champions League – as the regional tournament regulations demand.
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