Team Wellington created OFC Champions League history in the modern era with a 13 -nil win, the largest winning margin ever, over Kiwi FC in Game 2 of the Group Stages at Korman Stadium in Port Vila on Tuesday afternoon.
While this was the first encounter where these two teams have faced each other, Team Wellington went in to the match with a clear game plan and all respect for their opponents.
It wasn’t long until Team Wellington’s Nathanael Hailemariam put his side on the board after a cross from Ross Allen after receiving the ball from Henry Cameron down the right.
Just four minutes later and Hailemariam had his second goal after a quality ball in to the box from Cameron.
Team Wellington continued to play with confidence and as we hit the half hour mark, were treated some well executed combination play from Joel Stevens and Taylor Schrijvers before finding Ross Allen in front of goal to get his first goal of the game.
The following minute and Cameron found space down the right flank before an off-load to Allen who slotted his second.
Moments later, Cameron got himself in to the game and made it five with strike from the 12 yards out.
The Samoan side never gave up and it was Kiwi Lionel Taylor who gave his side their most prominent opportunity with a quality strike from distance but it when wide of the upright.
Just before half time and Team Wellington got their sixth by way of a hat-trick to Hailemariam after making the Kiwi side pay for a defensive mistake.
Second half and both sides came out determined as ever to stamp their mark.
It wasn’t until the 59th minute where Team Wellington opened up what would be another onslaught of goals as Hailemariam made an attack before unselfishly offering to team mate Allen to get his own hat-trick.
Almost immediately it was another one, two for Allen as he finished off a cross from Cameron with a header in to the back of the net before a well-timed tap in off a ball from Hailemariam.
Stevens got himself on the goal scoring board in the 68th minute pushing his side in double digits.
Stevens made another impact as he eyed up recent substitute Daniel Mulholland for the cross, who too got on the board, placing the ball in the back of the net from an acute angle.
But Team Wellington’s Allen wasn’t done for the day, creating his own bit of history slotting another and his sixth for the game – the highest for any player since Roy Krishna’s five goals in 2011 against Tefana.
The final moments of the game, in additional time and Mulholland had the last say with a half-volley flying into the top left-hand to take it to 13 goals to nil.
Head Coach, Jose Figueira gave credit to his side for their performance and the character shown on field.
“I’m really happy, we knew we would be favourites going in to the game but it was really good to see the manner of the performance, the way that we played and the momentum we were able to carry on today was good to see.”
“Going in to the game we knew winning the second game would give us a big step towards qualification so you could see the players were really determined today.”
The convincing lead at half time didn’t deter the Wellington side from sticking to their game plan and playing their own style. Figueira highlighting his half time message was similar to that of game one.
“We spoke about attitude, having the right attitude and being professional.”
“It was good to hear the players themselves saying it to each other and managing each other and we saw that carry on in the second half which was great and even the guys that came on off the bench as well.
Game two gave the Wellington coach an opportunity to keep things fresh and utilise his bench, noting he was pleased the way each member integrated themselves well in to the game.
“It’s really good, really positive. It’s hard to try and rely on the same eleven X, you just can’t do that here in the OFC Champions League with the challenging conditions so it’s good to keep things fresh.”
“Obviously Bill came in and Marcel to start and then subs on with Danny and Tiahn, they came in and you didn’t see much change which is a great sign which means we can keep everyone together and fresh and take things in to the final group game.”
Team Wellington and have their third and final game in the Group Stage on Friday 01 March at 5pm local time, 7pm NZT.