In a thrilling and hard-fought match at Freshwater Stadium, hosts Ifira Black Bird emerged victorious with a 1-0 win against Tiga Sport from New Caledonia in the quarterfinals of the OFC Champions League. The win propelled the current Vanuatu champions into the semifinals, securing their continued journey in the prestigious tournament.
Ifira started the game with an evident determination to claim victory. They pushed forward from the start, displaying their attacking prowess. However, Tiga Sport proved to be a formidable opponent, dangerous on the counter-attack. Their captain, Shene Welepane, came close to breaking the deadlock with a strike that hit the crossbar. The tall Ifira goalkeeper, Andreas Duch, showcased his skills and made several impressive saves to keep his team level in the first half.
But it was Ifira who ultimately found the breakthrough. Thanks to an excellent assist from Jordy Tasip, Godine Tenene, positioned in the box, headed the ball past Tiga’s goalkeeper, Jean-Yann Dounezek. The goal sent the home crowd into a frenzy, igniting a surge of energy and belief in the Ifira players.
Duch continued to showcase his goalkeeping prowess in the first half, making yet another impressive save to deny Tiga any chance of an equalizer. Despite Tiga’s best efforts, Ifira dominated possession for most of the match, demonstrating their control over the game.
As the second half commenced, Tiga Sport pushed forward desperately in search of a goal. However, their attempts to create clear-cut opportunities were largely unsuccessful. Instead, it was Ifira who came closest to scoring again, wasting several promising chances and even hitting the crossbar in the dying minutes with Tenene once more proving to be a dangerous threat.
The match was filled with lively action, keeping spectators on the edge of their seats throughout. The Ifira players exhibited great determination and resilience, fighting hard until the final whistle. With this hard-fought victory, Tiga Sport was knocked out of the tournament, while Ifira Black Bird earned a well-deserved place in the semifinals.
Looking ahead, Ifira faces a tough challenge in the next round as they go up against the defending champions, Auckland City from New Zealand. The clash promises to be an exhilarating encounter as both teams strive to secure a spot in the final and move closer to lifting the coveted OFC Champions League trophy.