Auckland City once again proved their dominance in Oceania's premier international club competition with a 2-0 victory over AS Tefana at Kiwitea Street seeing them through to their seventh OFC Champions League final in a row.
They will now face Team Wellington in the OFC Champions League final for the third year in a row, after Team Wellington dominated AS Magenta 7-1 in their second semi-final leg at David Farrington Park this afternoon.
"I'm 100 per cent pleased," Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx said at the final whistle.
"We've done it again, we're in a final and it's a pleasure to lead the team to the last game - or last two games - of the season.
"We're very happy with the outcome."
Happy with the outcome but it was no easy path for the Navy Blues with their Tahitian opponents keen to overturn the two-goal loss on their own home soil a week earlier.
Directly from kick-off Tefana pressed high, putting pressure on the backline and Auckland City keeper Enaut Zubikarai.
Within the first five minutes Angel Berlanga was forced to put the ball out before Marko Dordevic had to close down a threatening advance into the City box from Stanley Atani.
Some great goalkeeping from Zubikarai combined with the defence prowess of Berlanga, Dordevic and Mario Bilen kept Tefana at bay despite the pressure coming from the Tahitians for the first 20 minutes.
Auckland City started to find their rhythm at that point, playing the patient football they're renowned for. It paid off just after the half-hour mark as Emiliano Tade pounced on a poorly taken goal kick to open the scoring in the 33rd minute.
The second half proved tense as Tefana upped the physicality factor. A challenge from Heimano Bourebare on Daewook Kim caused a stir amongst both sides, especially when the Tahitian midfielder walked away with just a yellow card.
Auckland City kept their heads however and in the 64th minute Joao Moreira put on a stunning show, making a solo run into the Tefana box and slotting past Stevens Hiriga to take his side to 2-0.
Tefana started to fall apart at this point and as the half moved into additional time Viritua Tiaiho picked up his second caution and took an early shower. Two minutes later as Moreira made another lone run on goal, Hiriga brought him down and saw his match end early too.
Temarii Tinorua pulled on the keeper's jersey and gloves as Moreira lined up the penalty and couldn't help celebrating as the Portuguese striker hit the upright from the spot, despite his side losing the encounter 2-0.
Tefana coach Sebastian Labayen was in two minds about the final result.
"I'm disappointed in the sense that we've lost the match and won't be going through to the final," he said.
"But I'm satisfied, or consoled, by the performance produced by the players today."
Labayen said the first half was definitely his side's chance to overturn the first leg results and they were unfortunate they couldn't get the finishing right on this occasion.
"We were consistent in the first half. We were able to impose our game for periods but I have to congratulate Auckland because they were realistic. They performed as they should in front of goal and although they had less chances than us, were able to score two goals."
While they're savouring the victory over the two legs that saw them take a 4-0 aggregate, Tribulietx acknowledges that Tefana were a tough opponent.
"I think the game today was very physical, very difficult to play and in some stages it got a bit rough in my view," he said.
"But that's life, we survived and we got away with a win so we're happy with it."
Things were easier for Team Wellington, who were far more convincing after a 2-2 draw in their away first leg.
The hosts were quick to gain the lead in the fast-paced match after Joel Stevens carried the ball into the box and fired near post in the 7th minute, but the New Caledonian club were next to score when Joerisse Cexome weaved through the Team Wellington backline and tapped the ball past goalkeeper Scott Basalaj to equalise.
A set piece before the half-time whistle gave the lead back to Wellington, with captain Bill Robertson getting his head to the corner ball and sending it over Steeve Ixoee's hand and the New Zealand side entered the changing rooms confident about the second half after Jean Brice Wadriako received his second yellow card and was given his marching orders.
With only 10 men taking the field in the second half, Magenta were immediately under pressure from the fully armed hosts, and in the 49th minute Tom Jackson extended Wellington's lead. Shortly after, Andy Bevin and Nicolas Zambrano both profited from dangerous crosses to bring the tally up to five before Joel Stevens scored his second goal of the match.
The match turned even bleaker for AS Magenta in the last 10 minutes, with Jelewed Pierrot receiving a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Stevens. The nine New Caledonians struggled to hold off the Kiwis for the remaining minutes, allowing Joshua Margetts to squeeze in one more for Team Wellington in the third minute of injury time.
Despite the dominant 7-1 win, Team Wellington coach Jose Figuiera was impressed by the quick style-of-play displayed by both sides in their crucial clash.
"We're really happy to make another final for the club. We found it tough and there were certainly some uncomfortable moments in that first half," he said.
"They've got a lot of players with a lot of speed and creativity, very fluid and often players pop up in different places so they're a hard side to play against.
"We used our home advantage today. We got on the front foot and I'm really happy with the way we showed our quality and created lots of chances. We showed our worth as an attacking threat."
Although he was very disappointed with the heavy defeat after holding Team Wellington to a 2-2 draw in last week's semi-final, AS Magenta coach Alain Moizan believed the better side won on the day.
"It was a very difficult match, with a very young team. When we went down a player to ten, it became even more difficult for us," he said.
"Team Wellington is a very organised side, very solid. I think they will have a chance against Auckland, they will be much closer."