Champions League newcomers Henderson Eels scored twice in the final five minutes to stun last season’s runners up Lautoka FC 6-5 at Churchill Park.
The Solomon Islanders raced out to a 4-1 lead after 34 minutes, only to find themselves a goal down midway through the second half.
With the hosts minutes away from completing an impressive comeback win, a deft header from Eels substitute Clement Baegeni in the 90th minute found the back of the net to turn the game back on its head.
Talisman Joses Nawo completed scored a dramatic winning goal in the 94th minute to complete a famous win and earn three crucial points in their bid to reach the knockout rounds.
“It’s a sweet win because after the loss last Sunday (against AS Central Sport) I told my players that if we want to continue in this tournament we need to win today and I’m happy that the players delivered,” said a delighted head coach Eddie Marahare.
Lautoka coach Kamal Swamy said a lapse of concentration in the later stage of the game proved costly.
“I think we were lethargic in the last 20 minutes that’s why we gave them two goals,” he said.
“We need to prepare well in defensive and that’s what we were talking about that we are not prepared in defense and we give a lot of fouls, we were ill-discipline in
defence, so that’s how we lose the game.”
Meanwhile, Tahiti’s AS Central Sport all but confirmed their place in the last eight with a resounding 7-0 win over PNG’s Morobe Wawens, giving them a healthy goal differential with one match to play.
Sylvain Graglia opened the scoring in the seventh minute and ended the match with four goals, while captain Fred Tissot and Tahiti international Lorenzo Tehau also got on the scoresheet.