Unlucky Phoenix is defeated by Sydney FC

The Wellington Phoenix will be surely complaining tonight, but the majority of them will not complain on Ufuk Talay’s team performance – but yes in the bad luck Phoenix had when facing the current A-League Champions at Leichhardt Oval.

The game started with Sydney showing their attacking impetus with the forwards Adam le Fondre and Kosta Barbarouses – but none of them could really find the target. It was Brandon O’Neill that really could bread the deadlock at 17th minute for the home side, after corner and pinball inside the penalty box, the midfielder could hit Stefan Marinovic’s nets.

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Talay used the same starting team from the Round 01

After conceding, Phoenix kept their focus and started to dominate the game. The English forward David Ball could create some turmoil into Sydney defense alongside some long-range shots of the youngsters Callum McCowatt.

The second half kept the same scenario of the ending of the first: Wellington Phoenix keeping their pressure looking for an equalizer. Plenty of goalscoring chances were created and Nix displayed an entertaining football – it was about to come the goal when Ulisses Dávila enters the area, shots but is denied by Andrew Redmayne – the rebound is taken by David Ball that hits the posts and Callum McCowatt just cannot keep the play dangerous after another rebound.

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Lots of chances and lots of frustrations for Phoenix players

With so many chances, the goal was near to come – just needed someone to pull the trigger. It was Ulisses Davila, the first Mexican player to score in the A-League, that received a good pass by Jaushua Sotirio, beats one defender and fires the ball the deflects and finds the low right corner of Sydney’s goalkeeper. Finally, at the 69th minute of play, the game as levelled. This was the first goal of the season for the Nix.

The very first goal of the season for Phoenix by Dávila

The pressure was going to continue: with still twenty minutes plus stoppage time to played, maybe Phoenix could grab a win away against the current A-League champions playing a very good football. It was not to be.

After nearly 10 minutes of pressure and keeping the ball in forward positions, a silly foul commited by Matti Steinmann allowed Sydney a chance – enough for O’Neill to cross and find a unlikely Rhyan Grant inside the box to tap it home. The near touch surprised Marinovic that could not make stop the ball to enter the goal. It was the second goal of the home team.

To end a bad day for the Wellington team, the young Liberato Cacace – that was having a very good game – after a reckless challenge on Anthony Caceres. With the help of VAR, the young New Zealander was sent off and will miss the next game of his team.

Liberato Cacace is shown a red card

Despite being reduced to 10-men, Phoenix added Reno Piscopo and Ben Waine – subbing Matti Steinmann and Jaushua Sotirio respectively – and keep trying to find an equaliser. The best chance for the New Zealanders was with free-kick taken by Reno Piscopo that passed just close to the post of Andew Redmayne.

Phoenix unfortunately has now two defeats in two games played and will now face Perth Glory at Westpac Stadium, 6pm NZT. Despite of missing the important Liberato Cacace for this match, the new marquee import striker Gary Hooper is likely to have his debut in this match and the fans hope the Englishmen can help the team to finish better the goal chances produced today.

Jonathan Spokeyjack: “Vanuatu was prepared for New Zealand”

Since Australia left the Oceania Football Confederation in 2006, New Zealand took the spot as top team in the region and turned into the big task of all other 10 countries to challenge their clubs and national teams at the Confederation tournaments. So on, just twice clubs from outside New Zealand won the OFC Champions League – Hekari United and Hienghène Sport – and once the OFC Nations Cup – Tahiti.

In the last OFC Olympic Qualifiers, of course, the strong U23 New Zealand side named by the coach Des Buckingham was the team to be beaten and Jonathan Spokeyjack was aware of it: “We could stop New Zealand, we draw against them in Pacific Games in Samoa, but unfortunately we could not face them in final”.

The frustration of the 20-year old winger is clear: they have done a fantastic group stage winning all of their matches, but were stopped by a brave Solomon Islands team in the semifinals, being defeated by 1-0.

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Spokeyjack at OFC Olympic Qualifier

“We controlled the entire game. We lost the opportunities we had to score while they had one chance and scored – to be reducted to ten men also decreased a lot our chances”, says the Ni-Vanuatu International.

Vanuatu brought the best of young tallent they had to the competition: well-known names Jason Thomas, Ronaldo Wilkins and Bong Kalo starred for the team. It makes us remember the amazing time Vanuatu football had in 2017, when they qualified for South Korea 2017 World Cup – where Jonathan Spokeyjack had the chance to play: “It was very challenging. It was also my first experience playing against full professional players – a great atmosphere at the stadiums”.

Vanuatu played against Venezuela, Mexico and Germany and could surely come home happy with their results: despite a massive 7-0 defeat against Venezuela – that ended up the competition at the 2nd place -, they lost by 3-2 in the following games against Mexico and Germany. Spokeyjack remembers: “We fought till the end. We were happy because we scored goals and It was the first time in a FIFA tournament for a small nation like ours”. Vanuatu almost hold Mexico to a 2-2 draw, but a last minute winner could not make the Pacific Islanders to make their history even brighter.

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Spokeyjack singing Vanuatu National Anthem at OFC Olympic Qualifiers

Despite not being able to reach their goal – to face New Zealand at the grand final of the tourmanent – the Ifira Black Bird player was positive about his team performance: “We did very well in attack with good combinations. We were able to beat Fiji twice at their home and also finish in the 3rd position. We made a top tournament, we lost just one match and conceded only two goals”. The winger also added that “Etienne Mermer is the best coach in Vanuatu currently” and agreed with Oceania Football Center when mentioned the team seemed very well organized in pitch and well suited.

Spokeyjack dreams with an opportunity to turn professional overseas and hopes his work will get recognized: “We need media exposure, actually people can not see our hardwork here in Vanuatu. There are not football agents, so only VFF – Vanuatu Football Federation – is the one that can arrange trials and other chances for us. If we could get better media exposure we would attract some teams with our tallent.

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Spokeyjack (Left with N.7) with his club in Vanuatu – Ifira Black Bird

Spokeyjack club in Port Villa Premier League started the 2019/20 season with one win and one draw – he hopes with a good season and lots of hardwork he can manage to have better football opportunites to him all good talents Ni-Vanuatu football have. With already good experience from a FIFA U20 World Cup, him and the good generation of Vanuatu – that comes majorly from this great experience at U20 World Cup – Jonathan Spokeyjack hopes to shine even brighter.

Oceania Football Center is working to showcase the tallent all over Oceania and we hope to continue – and suceed – our job to make the football world connected with the best we have in the Pacific region.

Phoenix faces A-League Champions

After a dissapoint 1-0 defeat against Western United at home last weekend, Wellington Phoenix travels to Sydney to challenge the current A-League champions at Leichhart Oval, 20th October, 8pm NZT.

Stefan Marinovic preparing for sunday clash vs. Sydney FC

It is not going to be an easy task for the New Zealand-based club if they want to avoid two defeats in the starting two matches of the 2019/20 season. Sydney FC counts with the power of All Whites member and former Wellington Phoenix forward Kosta Barbarouses. Barbarouses recently had a stellar season playing for Melbourne Victory in 2018/19 scoring 15 times and providing four assists.

Surely Barbarouses will not be the only threat that Phoenix will need to deal with: the English striker Adam le Fondre has a very good last season for Sydney and already scored a double in his first match at A-League 2019/20. The Sky Blues will also count with the tallented midfielders Alexander Baumjohann and Milos Ninkovic to complete their offensive firepower.

Defensively Sydney has also plenty of quality: the Socceroos Andrew Redmayne (goalkeeper) and Rhyan Grant (right back). The team also counts with the experience of former Australia National Team players Alex Wilkinson and Ryan McGowan.

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Kosta Barbarouses is one of the threats for Wellington Phoenix

Although Sydney has a plenty of options in their squad, the current Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay had worked with Steve Corica – Sydney FC head coach – as his assistant in their succesful season. The knowledge of the new Phoenix coach can help the Nix to hold the Sky Blues quality.

Phoenix recently signed the marquee striker Gary Hooper with a move that hopes to be crucial for the team in the new season. Hooper is still not available for the Sydney FC clash and is expected to start his Phoenix career next weekend at Westpac Stadium against the current A-League premiers Perth Glory. Despite the not possible debut of the former Celtic, Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday striker, Talay can count with his full squad.

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Ufuk Talay knowledge of Sydney FC can help Phoenix in their next clash

Phoenix will hope to see an inspired Ulisses Dávila to help them to secure a good result after the defeat at home against Western United FC. You can watch the clash at SkySports and MyFootball Channell at 8pm NZT.

Wood scores but can’t avoid Burnley loss

New Zealander striker Chris Wood scored one goal and had another one canceled by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the 2-1 Premier League loss to Leicester City at King Power Stadium.

Burnley opened the scoreboard at the 26th minute with a good header by Wood after a Dwight McNeil left-footed cross. Leicester tied the game at late first half when Jamie Vardy headed it to the net. Youri Tielemans scored the winning goal with a powerful shot from inside the box. Wood still scored another goal to tie the game at 2 in the late second half but it was canceled by the VAR in a very controversial decision. You can check the goal play in the following video at 1:17.

Burnley’s coach Sean Dyche said in the postgame interview that he is a big fan of VAR but he also stated that the main referee must use the VAR screen before taking a decision.

Wood now has four goals in nine Premier League matches so far this season. He is the club’s current season top scorer with four goals alongside with Ashley Barnes.

Burnley is currently in the 8th place in the league while Leicester stands at second position.

Hienghène continue la Saison des Rêves

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Le Hienghène Sport ajoute un nouvel éclat à sa saison fantastique: la Coupe de Calédonie 2019. Le champion actuel de la Ligue des Champions OFC représentera également la Nouvelle-Calédonie à la Coupe de France lors de son édition 2019/20.

Dans un match rempli de buts, les nouveaux champions de la Coupe Caledonia ont remporté l’AS Lössi par 5-3. Bertrand Kaï a aidé son équipe à marquer deux buts décisifs en seconde période.

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Les équipes de départ des deux finalistes

Le match semblait facile pour Hienghène quand Anthony Kai a ouvert le score avec un magnifique tir à la cinquième minute. En plus du but inscrit à la 5e minute, le puissant milieu de terrain Cédric Sansot a marqué après un corner pris par le capitaine Bertrand Kaï à la 28e minute.

Lorsque Lössi a semblé être vaincu, il a retrouvé l’espoir à la 45e minute: après que Shaffy Mandaoue eut marqué un bon but, l’international calédonien Pierre Kauma réduisit le score à un point. Le but inscrit avant la fin de la première mi-temps confortait le moral des joueurs de Lössi qui avaient réussi à égaliser à peine dix minutes après la deuxième période grâce à une belle contre-attaque de Ludwig Zeoula.

Hienghène Sport, le favori de la victoire, a commencé à poursuivre son troisième but. L’équipe peut contrôler ses émotions et rester concentrée. et le club bleu et blanc a retrouvé le filet à la 63e minute grâce à un essai clinique de Bertand Kaï – après un effort fantastique de Anthony Käi. Six minutes plus tard, le même Bertrand Kaï, 36 ans, était plus rapide que tout défenseur de l’AS Lössi pour inscrire son deuxième but et le quatrième de son équipe. La marge était revenue à 2 buts.

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Les joueurs de Hienghène Sport célèbrent leur 4ème but du match

Le courageux Lössi a continué à se battre pour niveler le score. Ils ont commencé leur réaction lorsque Amy Hnageje, à la 77e minute, a été capable de trouver les filets et de marquer le troisième but de son équipe dans le match, tout en laissant assez de temps pour chercher un égaliseur.

Malgré le courage de l’équipe Orange, Hienghène a réussi à marquer un autre but: après une bonne passe de Bertrand Kaï, le prolifique Roy Kayara a battu le défenseur pour trouver le but, a décidé le 94ème jour de la rencontre – vous pouvez suivre tous les buts de le match dans les faits saillants.

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Le score final du match de la finale de la Coupe de Calédonie 2019

Hienghène Sport est maintenant trois fois champion du plus important tournoi de football de Nouvelle-Calédonie et représentera son pays en Coupe de France pour la troisième fois de son histoire en la saison 2019/20.

Après avoir remporté en mai le plus important titile de Hienghène Sport et de n’importe quel club de Nouvelle-Calédonie – la Ligue des Champions OFC 2019 – battant son rival, l’AS Magenta, en finale, il s’agit du dernier titre remporté par Hyehen. Ils sont également sur le point de compléter le triplé avec une victoire en Super League Mobil pour la saison en cours, alors qu’il n’y a que trois tours en tête du classement.

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Le trophée de la Coupe de Calédonie remporté par Hienghène Sport

Malgré la superbe performance de l’équipe dirigée par Felix Tagawa, Hienghène a commis des erreurs de défense permettant à l’AS Lössi de marquer trois fois. Hienghène participera à la Coupe du Monde des Clubs de la FIFA 2019 au Qatar en décembre. Ils savent qu’ils devront faire preuve d’une meilleure cohérence défensive pour représenter la Nouvelle-Calédonie et l’Océanie dans le tournoi le plus important de leur histoire.

Port Vila Football League – Weekend Review

The PVFA Premier League’s gameweek 2 is over. Four matches were played in Port Vila top division and Oceania Football Center brings a review of each match for you!

Galaxy 10-0 Mauwia

The first game of the weekend was played on Friday between Galaxy and Mauwia. As we said in our preview, Mauwia had a lot of work and they were not able to stop the Galaxy’s constellation that stands on top with 24 goals scored in two matches. Forward Kensi Tangis scored a hat-trick and keeps on the top of Golden Boot race with seven goals. Goalkeeper Seilone Iaruel’s injury is the only bad point for the Blues.

Galaxy (blue) and Mauwia (red) players greeting each other

Sia-Raga 4-0 Tupuji Imere

After losing by walkover in the first match, Tupuji Imere lost to Sia-Raga by 4-0 and remains at zero in PVFA PL. Sia-Raga retrieved from losing to Tafea in last round and won their first game in this league season. Jason Bule scored two goals while Noel Maki and Luke Moli scored one goal each.

Tafea 3-1 Yatel

Tafea had a harder afternoon than they thought before the kick-off against Yatel when Nathan Teidoka opened the scoreboard for Yatel. Tafea came back from behind to beat Yatel by 3-1 to get three more points in the table. Jordy Tasip scored one more goal and he is the current Tafea’s top scorer with three goals in two matches. The other goals were scored by Allista Kalip and Waiwo Kalmet.

Erakor Golden Star 0-0 Ifira Black Bird

In the most balanced clash of this weekend, Erakor came to field for the first time in this league season in a draw against Ifira Black Bird. Both teams now have four points in the table and stand behind Galaxy and Tafea.

Erakor Golden Star line-up against Ifira BB

There were also four matches in the Port Vila First Division (second tier). Check the results below:

Seveners United 4-0 Pango Green Bird
Shepherds United 4-2 Ambassador
United Malampa 1-3 North Efate United
Mauriki 2-1 Easton

Click here to check the Premier League’s full standings and topscorers. You can check First Division standings by clicking here.

AS Vénus: an unforgettable season!

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AS Vénus had an amazing 2019 in Tahiti by winning a double after conquering Ligue 1 and Coupe de Tahiti Nui.

The Ligue 1 title race was very tight and the champion finished just one point ahead of AS Tiare Tahiti in a breathtaking season ending a twenty years drought in the league. Both teams are qualified for 2020 OFC Champions League.

They had a difficult draw in Coupe‘s Round of 16 but it was not a problem for them. Vénus won strong Central Sport by 3-0 to begin their path through the glory. They also won AS Temanava by 8-2 in quarterfinals and AS Pirae by 2-0 in the semifinals. AS Tefana was the final’s opponent and they lost by 3-0 to Vénus to lift the Cup’s trophy for the first time since 2002.

AS Vénus players celebrating the 2019 Coupe de Tahiti Nui title

Forward Teaonui Tehau was the top scorer of both competitions, scoring 42 goals in Ligue 1 and eleven in the Cup. An unforgettable season for the 27 years old player who is the Tahiti National Team all time topscorer.

OFC Champions League group stage is scheduled to begin on February and Tehau can be one of the contenders to win the Golden Boot Award.

Nikao Sokattak looks for ending a ten year drought in Vans Premiership

Cook Islands Vans Premiership’s title race looks promising this year. As the league goes to the 9th round of 15, Nikao Sokattak and Tupapa Maraerenga are still tied up on top with nineteen points each.

While Tupapa Maraerenga won seven of last nine league editions, Nikao Sokattak tries to lift a trophy that they last did ten years ago. In Premiership, teams play against each other three times in a season. Tupapa has beaten Nikao Sokattak by 4-0 in the first round and there are two clashes remaining between them and these matches can decide the 2019 season champions.

The Harmon’s team is also building a good history for Cook Islands football when it comes to OFC Champions League (OCL) once they qualified to the Group Stage in the last two editions of the tournament beating clubs from Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa.

Tupapa Maraerenga delegation celebrate qualifying for 2019 Oceania Champions League group stage

If Tupapa is creating a dinasty in Rarotonga this decade, Nikao Sokattak did something similar in the 2000s, winning the league for six times between 2000 and 2009 and playing OFC Champions League in 2005 and 2006, but they did not win a match in the continental competition.

Hopes are up at Nikao’s side with the possibility of winning the league to end a ten year’s drought. When asked about the 4-0 lost on September, a player from Nikao Sokattak told to Oceania Football Center they’re ready to face their title race’s rivals and they will be focused on avoiding set-piece goals this time.

You can keep up with Cook Islands League results and standings here in Oceania Football Center!

2019 S-League – Weekend Preview

Malaita Kingz vs Kossa – Saturday 14:00

An enormous game for both teams. Kossa can jump for the 3rd position if they win with the added advantage of a game in hand – Adrian Mara will be at spotlight for Kossa after an impressive OFC Olymoic Qualifiers campaign for Solomon Islands. Malaita Kingz needs to win if hey want to keep some contact with Solomon Warriors and Henderson Eels on top. A win can take Kingz to the second place if Warriors lose to Eels on Sunday. The youth Malaita side will have to be at their very best tomorrow to beat Kossa. Can Michael Foster and Emmanuel Simon lead them to the win?

Kossa players

Isabel United vs Guadalcanal – Saturday 16:00

After beating Marist on Wednesday, newcomer Isabel United comes cheered up to face Guadalcanal that still remains at zero in this season. Isabel can jump to sixth if they win, overcoming Marist that’s in a bye week this weekend. Will Bently Kelobi score a hat-trick like he did on Wednesday? Can he be a threat to Tony Kaltack and other players in Golden Boot race?

Real Kakamora vs Laugu United – Sunday 14:00

Bottom placed Real Kakamora scored just two goals this season and suffered 24 in five matches. They probably won’t be a problem for the traditional Laugu United that can jump to the fourth place if Kossa don’t win Malaita Kingz. Laugu has the better defense in S-League so far with just five goals conceded so far and they will probably remain with five goals conceded after this match. It’s a great opportunity for Laugu to increase their goal debit with the help of talented number 10 Atkin Kaua.

Henderson Eels vs Solomon Warriors – Sunday 16:00

Stop the world because the long awaited clash has arrived! Henderson Eels and Solomon Warriors will fight in an important match for both. Henderson Eels won all their six games this season and stands on top with 18 points while Solomon Warriors got 13 points in five matches. If Warriors win they stand just two points back Eels with one game in hand. Three of the five this season top scorers will probably play: Tony Kaltack and Molea Tigi for Warriors and Joses Nawo for Eels. Will they make the difference for their teams? We’ll find out on Sunday at Lawson Tama Stadium.

Eels vs Warriors will probably be a tough match

Lautoka FC: is a no title season the necessary trigger for a victorious 2020?

Lautoka FC is one of the biggest football teams in Fiji. They lifted many trophies in the past seasons (six between 2015 and 2018) and is always one of the favourites for every competition held in the country. But this season was a bit different for the Blues once they did not win any competition during 2019.

With good National Team players like Beniamino Mateinaqara, Zibraaz Sahib, Dave Radrigai and Samuela Drudru, Lautoka still counts on Pacific’s legend Benjamin Totori, people always expect good things from Lautoka. Their powerful attack composed by Radrigai, Drudru and Totori scored 42 goals this year in all national competitions plus OFC Champions League while the rest of the team netted 36 times.

Legendary Benjamin Totori playing for Lautoka

Despite qualifying for next OFC Champions League, Lautoka could not deal with Ba in the Vodafone Premier League’s title race, ending the championship as runner-up eight points after the champion Ba. At least Samuela Drudru took the Top Scorer Award with 12 goals.

Samuela Drudru holding Vodafone Premier League Topscorer Award

The biggest chance to win a tournament was in the Battle of the Giants when they reached the final match to face Labasa but a late goal scored by Siotame Kubu took their opportunity away. They had another opportunity during Inter-District Championship, competition that Lautoka won in 2017 and 2018, but they did not manage to go through the semifinals in a strong group with Ba, Labasa and Tavua.

Anyway it was a good season for Lautoka even without a title. The Blues surely will come stronger for next season once they are going to play OCL once again. The 2020 season is quite promising for them and they will surely come back hungry for trophies.