Auckland City's remarkable reign in the Oceania region is over.

Team Wellington made history on Sunday afternoon, with a 2-2 draw at Kiwitea Street.
It meant they progressed on aggregate due to the away goals rule – after last week's 0-0 draw in Wellington – and will contest the two legged final OFC Champions League final next month.

Two goals in the space of five first half minutes ripped the match from Auckland's grasp, as it meant the home side needed needed to score three times, as they had no away goals in the bank.

Auckland City mounted an onslaught in the second half – and carved out several opportunities – but it was always going to be a huge ask.


In the end Team Wellington deserved their victory – which should see them progress to the Fifa Club World Cup for the first time – as they were probably the better side over the 180 minutes of the tie.

Games between their two teams have become the pre-eminent rivalry in New Zealand football, perhaps even surpassing the legendary battles between Auckland City and Waitakere United earlier this decade.

Auckland City were going for their eighth consecutive OFC crown, an incredible run which has defined them as the dominant team in the region. But the team from the capital has been edging closer every year, and there had been only one goal scored in the last three clashes.

Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx sprung a surprise from the kickoff, with a tactical and personnel change from their established formation. It was designed to give the home side a chance gain an advantage in certain areas of the pitch, but didn't really work.

The first 20 minutes were fairly even, before Team Wellington began to take control. Auckland City lacked their usual precision, and were unable to establish any dominance in midfield. Team Wellington were sharper in possession, and much more threatening in the final third.

The team from the capital should have taken the lead before Eric Molloy's 37th minute opener, but were only denied by some brilliant work by Auckland goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai.

The Spanish keeper, who had kept his net intact for an incredible 1,380 minutes coming into this game, made two superb saves to deny Molloy, both times getting down quickly after a rebound, when the Wellington player probably favoured to score on each time.

The second was the standout, with Zubikarai parrying a thumping drive from Nathanael Hailemariam then saving superbly as Molloy followed up.


But the breakthrough came in the 37th minute, with Molloy directing a neat header back across Zubikarai, after Andy Bevin found him with a measured cross.

Team Wellington extended their lead – and put one nail in Auckland'coffin – with a killer second goal four minutes later.

Roy Kayara was brought down in the box – after a storming run – and referee Nick Waldron pointed to the spot. Angus Kilkolly dispatched the spot kick with aplomb, to leave Auckland City with a mountain to climb.

As expected, they threw the kitchen sink at the visitors in the second half. They completely dominated proceedings, with Wellington restricted to occasional counter attacks.

Emiliano Tade pulled one back for the home side from a free kick, via a deflection, in the 77th minute, to give the home side some hope. A Scott Hilliar own goal in the 96th minute set up an incredible finish, but some brilliant last ditch defending by the visitors – combined with some inaccuracy from home side – was enough to see Wellington through

Auckland City 2 (E Tade 77, own goal 90+6)
Team Wellington 2 (E Molloy 37, A Kilkolly 42)
Halftime: 2-0