New Caledonia will host both OFC Champions League football semi finals after AS Magenta sealed their berth with a crushing 8-0 victory over Central Sport from Tahiti.
Richard Sele opened the scoring at Stade Pater in Pirae for the visitors in the 20th minute before Nathanael Hmeaen doubled the advantage with the first of his two goals three minutes later.
Central Sport remained in contention down 2-0 at half-time but Hmaen’s second goal just before the hour mark opened the floodgates.
Mickael Tiaou and Yorick Hnautra both got on the scoresheet in quick succession before Kevin Neemia completed a hat-trick in the space of 18 second half minutes to add further gloss to the scoreboard.
Despite a dominant result on the scoreboard, Magenta coach Alain Moizan said it was still far from a perfect performance.
“When you’re a coach you’re never really happy, even when you win by a big margin like this,” he said.
“The first half was difficult, the players were nervous – too nervous. They didn’t adapt well to the field, what was at stake was in their minds.
“We managed to score twice, but missed a penalty. The second half, fitness was the difference.”
It’s a marked turnaround for New Caledonian clubs after Magenta and AS Lossi both failed to reach the knockout rounds of the Champions League last season.
AS Magenta will host Auckland City in the semi finals later this month, having lost 2-1 to the nine time champions in the group stage earlier this year.