The OFC Champions League Qualifier 2018

tony@samoanews.com

The OFC Champions League Qualifier 2018 kicked off locally on Saturday. It is for the National League champions of four countries — American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga.

The winner and runner-up of this tournament will advance to the second stage of the OFC Champions League 2018, which will be held in four locations to be confirmed at a later date.

The four countries and their participating teams: American Samoa — Pago Youth; Cook Islands — Tupapa Maraerenga FC; Samoa — Lupe o le Soaga; and Tonga — Veitongo FC.

The Cook Islands team arrived on island Tuesday, while the other two teams, from Samoa and Tonga arrived Thursday.

For the last two years, Utulei Youth represented American Samoa, but after Pago Youth won the FFAS National League in 2016, they earned this berth. This will be the third time Pago Youth has represented American Samoa in this tournament.

There are three match days scheduled for the OFC Champions League Qualifier 2018, with Day 1 on Saturday, Jan. 20. Match Day 2 is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 23, while Match Day 3 is Friday, Jan. 26.

Games are at 12:00 pm and 3 p.m. on all three Match Days, and they will all be played at the Pago Park Soccer Stadium.

There is no opening ceremony planned for the games — so starting time is as noted — 12 p.m.

The games will be streamed live online, while Samoa News will be doing coverage with photos and brief highlights of the games, sponsored by Congresswoman Aumua Amata.

If you have time, and the weather is great — be sure to drop in and see the games, starting Saturday and throughout next week. They should be exciting to watch with the quality of players participating.

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