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Auckland City through to OFCCL semi-finals

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/03/2017 Angelo Risso

Auckland City have obliterated the Vanuatu-based Malampa Revivors 11-0 to guarantee an Oceania Champions League semi-final berth.

It was all too easy for the defending Oceanian champions at Mangere Centre Park, as they repeatedly exploited Malampa's bafflingly high defensive line with lofted through balls and intelligent wing play.

Their 11-goal victory is the largest of the modern OFC Champions League era, and made all the more impressive by the absence of several first-team regulars including Albert Riera, Emiliano Tade and Takuya Iwata.

Portuguese striker Joao Moreira nabbed a hattrick, while Ryan de Vries hit four and Micah Lea'alafa scored a brace.

They will now head into next month's home-and-away semi-finals against one of Team Wellington, Noumea-based AS Magenta and the yet-to-be-determined Group D winner.

"After we went 3-0 up they probably gave up, it's understandable, you feel sorry for them (but) we played a good game," coach Ramon Tribulietx said.

"It's difficult to find weaknesses in today's game."

The Navy Blues didn't take long to assert control, as Darren White squared for winger de Vries to tap home in the seventh minute.

Auckland were having a field day down the flanks against Malampa, with wingbacks White and Alfie Rogers repeatedly hitting the byline without resistance.

A second goal was only a matter of time and it was Lea'alafa who claimed it, capitalising on good work from de Vries and Rogers down the left edge to drive a low shot home in the 32nd minute.

The Solomon Islander then nabbed a second two minutes later, before Harry Edge, Moreira and de Vries hit Malampa for six before half-time.

The second half started in a similar vein, as substitute Reid Drake, de Vries and a Moreira brace brought up double figures within 65 minutes.

South Africa-born All White de Vries then rounded out the record result.

Auckland City had previously defeated Group C foes Honiara-based Western United 2-1 and Papua New Guinea-based Lae City Dwellers 2-0.

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