FORMER France under-21 and Tahiti international Marama Vahirua played a key in AS Pirae's 2-1 victory against the Solomon Warriors in the Oceania Football Confederation Champions League at Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday.
Vahirua, who played for French Division One club Nantes from 1998 to 2004 found the back of the net in the 12th minute.
AS Pirae doubled its advantage in the 26th minute following Jimmy Tepa's header.
The Solomon Warriors with players like Judd Molea and James Naka looked out of sorts in the first spell. A pep talk by coach Moses Toata sparked the Solomon Islandersinto action in the second half.
Naka headed in a free kick in the 56th minute to pull one back for the Warriors.
Captain Vahirua said they did just enough to stop the Warriors tempo in the second half.
Warriors coach Toata said it was tough to get back after being down by two goals at the break.
"It was a good and exciting game," he said.
"They had their chance and we had ours. They scored the early goals. It is not the first time that we have been behind at half time."
"At the break I told the boys to step up and play quicker football on the ground to create those goal scoring opportunities.
"But we lost the ball a bit more on attack. That is one big problem that we have to work on in the next few days before the Waitakere United game.
"We have to talk to the boys just to let them know the mistakes they made. We allowed the opponents too much time to play."
The competition shifts to Govind Park in Ba today. At 1pm Vodafone 4R Electrical Ba will take on Tafea FC while at 4pm AS Magenta will play Hekari United.
Solomon Warriors: Samson Koti, Hadisi Aengari, Matson Fenny, Fred Fakari, Dennis Ifunaoa, James Naka, Judd Molea, Jerry Donga, Jeffrey Bule, Micah Lea'alafa, Bata Furai, Loea Taisara.
AS Pirae: Jonathan Torohia, Raimoana Bennett, Gael Meslien, Raimana Li Fung Kuee, Augustin Dallera, Teriinoho Tihoni, Jimmy Tepa, Marama Vahirua, Jay Warren, Javier Paez, Heimanu Taiarui.