Hosts Erakor Golden Star edged past a spirited Kiwi FC side from Samoa to emulate the feat of defending champions Team Wellington who earlier overcame a well organised Ba FC from Fiji to share top spot in Group C at the conclusion of the opening match day of the OFC Champions League 2019 tournament at Port Vila’s Korman Stadium.
Reigning champions Team Wellington have arrived in Port Vila for the beginning of their OFC Champions League 2019 journey with a steely determination of replicating their triumphant campaign from last year.
Drawn into Group C, alongside Vanuatu’s National Super League grand final champions Erakor Golden Star, Samoa National League champions and Qualifying tournament runners-up Kiwi FC, Team Wellington will kick of their title defence with Saturday’s group opener against Fiji Premier League runners-up Ba FC at Port Vila’s Korman Stadium.
It’s a time for dynasties all over the world, a time for consolidation that is most frequently highlighted amongst the best in European football. Amongst the top five leagues in Europe, Paris Saint-Germain are dominating Ligue 1, Juventus are on course for an eighth-successive Serie A title, Atlético Madrid only briefly halted Barcelona and Real Madrid’s dominance in LaLiga, while Los Blancos have amazingly managed win three successive Champions League honours on the bounce.
The phrase “building a dream” means more than most to Team Wellington skipper Justin Gulley.
Since he dropped out of the professional game with the A-League’s Wellington Phoenix in 2016, the left-back has been pursuing a builder’s apprenticeship by day and OFC Champions League success with TeeDubs by night.
After experiencing heartbreak in three consecutive OFC Champions League finals to the Navy Blues, Team Wellington exorcised their demons by defeating their New Zealand rivals in the semi-finals. The TeeDubs’s long wait for continental glory then came to an end after a high-scoring aggregate victory in the final against Fijian outfit Lautoka.