AS Academy Féminine has made it three wins from three at the inaugural OFC Women’s Champions League in Papua New Guinea, as they put themselves one win away from clinching the title.
The young New Caledonian side proved too strong for Samoa’s Kiwi FC winning 5-0 at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in Port Moresby.
Coach Coralie Bretegnier rested playmaker Alice Wenessia from the starting side with her star midfielder sitting on a yellow card. A yellow in this game would have seen her unavailable for a potential tournament decider on Saturday.
Wenessia’s absence, however, made no difference to AS Academy Féminine’s fortunes.
They opened the scoring in just the second minute through Laetitia Leme and talisman Christelle Wahnawe added a second with a lovely header in the 17th minute.
Despite being largely outclassed, the Samoan side – playing its final match of the tournament – showed plenty of positivity moving forward and created several half chances in the first half but they were always vulnerable on the counter with the New Caledonian side lethal with their pace. Wahnawe scored her second with an easy tap-in after Jackie Pahoa’s shot was parried into her path by Kiwi FC keeper Repeka Asofa Salele 12 minutes later.
Leme had her second five minutes before half-time when she pounced on a mistake from Asofa Salele in the Kiwi FC goal.
The second half was largely a disjointed affair with AS Academy Féminine guilty of squandering several goal-scoring chances while 13-year-old Florencina Kalifa, the scorer of Kiwi FC’s only goal of the tournament, fired a strong right-footed attempt just wide 18 minutes in.
The Samoan side were reduced to 10 players in the 64th minute when defender Asiasiga Siona copped a second yellow card to receive her marching orders.
Alice Wenessia was introduced for the final 15 minutes replacing Jackie Pahoa and made an almost immediate impact, scoring her side’s fifth goal after her first attempt was saved by the keeper, pouncing on the rebound and firing into an empty net.
AS Academy Féminine know their destiny is in their own hands and a win over Koloale FC on Saturday will see them crowned inaugural OFC Women’s Champions League winners.