Team Wellington grab two away goals in OFC Champions League semifinal

Team Wellington celebrate Andy Bevin's goal against AS Magenta on Saturday night in Noumea.
ALAIN VARTANE

Team Wellington celebrate Andy Bevin's goal against AS Magenta on Saturday night in Noumea.

Team Wellington will have the advantage of two away goals for the home leg of their OFC Champions League semifinal.

The two-time national league champions drew 2-2 with AS Magenta in Noumea, New Caledonia, on Saturday night. 

The second leg will be played at David Farrington Park next Sunday as Team Wellington look to book their place in the final, which holds the carrot of a spot at the Club World Cup for the winner.

Wellington started sluggishly at the Stade Numa Daly, conceding to a Kevin Nemia goal in the sixth minute.

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The hosts played well through the rest of the first half without really threatening the Wellington goal.

Wellington were much better in the second spell, earning a penalty in the 60th minute which Tom Jackson converted.

Jackson went close to giving his side the lead seven minutes later when his chip rattled the crossbar. Andy Bevin was the one to give Wellington the lead 10 minutes from fulltime, getting on the end of a well-placed flick on to finish at the back post.

But Magenta weren't done yet, earning a penalty of their own in the second minute of injury time. Wellington's Mario Barcia handled in the box and Nicolas Marin stepped up to fire the spot kick low and into the corner.

Wellington coach Jose Figueira said Magenta did well in the first half to prevent them from playing their normal game.

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"In the first half, we really suffered and we didn't really get to grips with the way they pressed us. They stopped us from getting the ball down and trying to play and create opportunities.

"That's credit to them and how they set up. At halftime we changed a few things, tactically, and we were able to create some good opportunities form set pieces and open play, and perhaps could have been out of sight a wee bit."

Auckland City are in the box seat in the other semifinal after beating Tahitian side Tefana 2-0 at Stade Pater in Pirae, Tahiti. That gives them a massive advantage for the return tie at Kiwitea St in Auckland next Sunday. 

 - Stuff

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