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City draw at OFC Champions League

Defending OFC Champions League winners Auckland City played out an entertaining opening day draw against Fiji’s Rewa FC at Stade Paea in Tahiti on Saturday (Sunday NZ Time).

After a slow first half, the match sparked into life in the second 45 minutes, with four goals coming in less than 20 minutes.

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City captain Cameron Howieson broke the deadlock just after the break, firing in a left-footer from the edge of the box to break Rewa’s resistance.

The lead only lasted a little over 10 minutes, however, when a quick-fire double put the Fijian side in front.

Joasis Sela scored both with almost carbon copy efforts – both well struck low efforts flashing past Auckland City’s Conor Tracey and threatening a major upset.

The experienced New Zealand side rebounded almost immediately. Howieson found space deep in Rewa territory and played a smart through-ball for substitute Ryan de Vries, who flicked a smart finish past Isikeli Sevanaia to level matters.

Cameron Howieson OFC Champions League football
City captain Cameron Howieson opened the scoring against Rewa. PHOTO: OFC MEDIA/PHOTOTEK

Liam Gillion, who had been a constant menace to the Rewa backline, went close to a late winner, flashing an effort past the post and desperate dive of Sevanaia.

The sapping heat and humidity of the midday kick-off was taking its toll as the match neared the final whistle. Howieson came close to a second in the final minute of regulation time, his close-range shot saved at the second attempt by Sevanaia.

City face Papua New Guinea's Hekari United in their second match on Tuesday (kick-off 10am Wednesday NZT).

Rewa FC 2 (Josaia Sela 62′, 65′) Auckland City FC 2 (Cameron Howieson 50′, Ryan de Vries 67′). HT: 0-0


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