AS Mont-Dore surprise all with Champions League victory
The 15th edition of the OFC Champions League is finally over. In what was a crazy year for the competition the final proved to be one of the best in history. For New Caledonia's AS Mont-Dore it was a fairy tale journey. It was their first ever final and they were the big time underdogs. Here is how the two clubs got to the final.
Before the match we got to see a bit of a war of words between both managers and it seemed real heated. Mont-Dore's Kévin Gauthier had started the exchange by saying that Auckland City was over looking his squad and they better watch out. While Auckland's Ramon Tribulietx had said he was ready to show Gauthier who truly belonged. After the match Gauthier tried to shake Tribulietx's hand but was rejected.
In this match the underdogs were playing a very defensive game because of such a gap in talent. It seemed to frustrate the Auckland City players as they had trouble scoring. City's Micah Lea'alafa was the first to score during the 10th minute. You could see that the Mont-Dore bench was starting to panic. They would answer two goals of their own by Damien Morin in the 42nd' and 53rd'. After that Mont-Dore seemed to be in control and went back to a very defensive style of play. Jamal Kabeu and Kévin Gohiri would score back to back in the 78th' and 79th' minutes. It seemed as if Mont-Dore had this locked down but Auckland would score their last with a goal by Elimiano Tade in the 86th minute.
It was then over Mont-Dore becomes the first club from New Caledonia to win the title ending Auckland City's run of five straight titles. This was also the first victory by an non New Zealand club since Hekari United won it back in 2010.
"Many say parking the bus is not a good strategy but at times it is necessary and we needed to do that to win,"
Gauthier went on saying "This was an amazing O-League for us and I still can't believe we did this, now it is time to focus on returning next season. Oh yeah I can't wait for the Club World Cup in December.
As Gauthier said AS Mont-Dore will be the representative of the OFC this upcoming December in the FIFA Club World Cup. Like last season it will be taking place in Japan with the dates still to be determined. We wish them luck in their domestic season and the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup.