The strong Warriors side lost 2-0 in the quarter finals yesterday to none other than the defending champions, Auckland City at Auckland’s Kiwitea Street.
Emilano Tade broke the deadlock in the 20th minute and Solomon Islands Micah Lea’alafa extended the lead 12 minutes into the second to see off a spirited challenge from Warriors who tested the home side at times.
Coach Moses Toata admitted they lack creating more chances and supportive play.
He said the difference was that Auckland City manages to score two goals while Warriors did not.
“The difference today was they scored two goals and we didn’t.
“It comes down to how we create our opportunities.
“We didn’t create enough today and we lacked the support play, especially in the attacking third.
“We created some good chances especially in the first half.
“We could’ve scored a couple and I thought there was a handball as well. But it didn’t come our way,” Toata told OFC media after the match.
Speaking to the Star Sports he further added, they did their best but fail to make use of their chances which cost them.
“Today, we did our best to match a well drilled team and the biggest difference is that they had their chances and they turned them into goal.
“Although it is obvious that they dominated possession most of the time, we actually had our patches of moments where we could have scored, we had a obvious hand ball which was overruled.
“In the first half of the game, we had at least 2 chances. In the second half they scored another goal from sloppy marking and Micah scored from close range.
“Auckland had the home advantage and looked more confident but it's no excuse because we can match them.
“It's unfortunate that we where drawn against the Champions if Oceania, but I think with a little more fitness, we can beat them next time.”
Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx said they played against a good side.
“We played a very good team.
“Solomon Warriors have some very difficult players to cope with in transition.
“When we try to keep the ball that’s when some of these teams can hurt you on the counter.
“They had two or three very good chance to be fair to them.
“They’re a very good side and we’re very happy with the result,” he said.
The win sets up an all-New Zealand semi-final in the OFC Champions League.
Auckland City will take on Team Wellington over two legs on the weekends of April 20-21 in Wellington and April 27-28 in Auckland for a place in the final.
The OFC Champions League quarterfinals wrap up last night in Tahiti where AS Dragon lost to Fiji’s Lautoka FC.
This means Lautoka will play Marist FC in the other semi-final.
Kick-off times and venues to be confirmed.
Lautoka FC [FIJ] vs. Marist FC [SOL]
Team Wellington [NZL] vs. Auckland City FC [NZL]
Marist FC [SOL] vs. Lautoka FC [FIJ]
Auckland City FC [NZL] vs. Team Wellington [NZL]
By CARLOS ARUAFU