Tro­phy fi­nally Auck­land’s

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT - By JEREMY RUANE

They’ve fi­nally done it.

The long-awaited ASB Premier­ship tro­phy is head­ing back to Ki­witea St for the first time in five years af­ter Auck­land City FC edged out Team Welling­ton 1-0 in the fi­nal on Sun­day.

The New Zealand Foot­ball ti­tle win ce­ments the Navy Blues’ po­si­tion as the top New Zealand club.

City were made to work hard for the ASB Premier­ship tro­phy by a Team Welling­ton com­bi­na­tion which pressed Auck­land at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity through­out the first half. Just af­ter the half hour mark, Emil­iano Tade scored the only goal of the match. John Irv­ing’s ball picked out Tade, neatly con­trol­ling the ball on his chest be­fore dart­ing be­tween two de­fend­ers and lob­bing over the ad­vanc­ing fig­ure of Ja­cob Spoon­ley.

The Welling­ton keeper could only turn and look on in de­spair as the ball bounced into the net.

The goal forced Welling­ton to change their tac­tics but they came up against a res­o­lute Auck­land rear­guard in which cap­tain Ivan Vicelich was at his com­mand­ing best.

City’s de­fen­sive ef­fort meant al­most ev­ery Welling­ton at­tempt was taken from out­side the penalty area. The visi­tors came des­per­ately close to equal­is­ing in stop­page time but City were able to cel­e­brate just mo­ments later when they were awarded their long-awaited fifth ASB Premier­ship crown.

Ra­mon Tribu­li­etx’s charges now en­joy a week off be­fore re­group­ing to take on the top Ocea­nia clubs in the OFC Cham­pi­ons League in Fiji, start­ing on April 7.

City have been drawn to play Fiji, Tahiti and Van­u­atu in their group. The fi­nal will take place in May and the win­ners will rep­re­sent Ocea­nia at the FIFA Club World Cup Fi­nals in De­cem­ber.

Won it: Auck­land City FC cel­e­brate their long-awaited premier­ship win.

Pho­tos: PHOTOSPORT

Score: Emil­iano Tade cel­e­brates scor­ing the first and only goal dur­ing the ASB premier­ship fi­nal.

Top team: Cap­tain Ivan Vicelich leads his team to vic­tory.

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