AS Central Sport got their debut OFC Champions League campaign off to a dream start after they came from a goal down to defeat fellow first-timers Madang FC 7-3 in the opening Group A match this evening.
“Of course we are pleased to win the first game and to mark the occasion of the club’s first game in the OFC Champions League with a victory,” Central Sport coach Cyril Klosek said.
“We showed that we are capable of creating opportunities in the match, it was a great performance from my players and an excellent result.”
It didn’t commence as easily for the Tahitian side as the score line might suggest however.
Within a couple of minutes of the opening whistle, referee Campbell-Kirk Waugh was sounding it again and pointing to the penalty spot after a foul in the area.
Vanya Malagian stepped up to open the scoring and hand Madang an historic goal of their own.
It took Central a bit of time to settle into the match as the fast-paced direct style adopted by Madang saw them take a cautious approach.
In the 38th minute things took a positive turn for Central as Chilean import Cesar Castillo sent a solid strike past a diving Glen Agat. Just ahead of the break one minute of play triggered a turning point in the match as Jacob Sabua was cautioned for a foolish tackle on Castillo on the edge of the Madang area.
Matatia Paama delivered a perfect cross to an unmarked Diego Cifuentes at the far post who gave his side a one goal cushion.
Four minutes after the restart a second yellow card was picked up by Sabua leaving Madang with over 35 minutes of football to play with a man down.
The floodgates opened in the 56th minute as two goals in the space of two minutes, courtesy of Castaillo and Sergio Sandoval doubled their lead. Substitute Fred Tissot got on the board only minutes after coming on.
Against the run of play, Madang managed to pull one back through Eliuda Pohei but Central soon extended their lead even further as Vanuatu international Kensi Tangis added a sixth.