City get win in first OFC match
Auckland City have made a winning start to their OFC Champions League defence, but they left it late against Western United on Saturday.
They needed two late goals to triumph 2-1 over the Solomon Islanders at Centre Park in south Auckland, but they got there, thanks to a Darren White header and an Emiliano Tade penalty kick, which came in the 86th minute.
The Centre Park pitch appeared to be very heavy, which was no surprise given all the rain in Auckland on Friday and Saturday, and that didn’t particularly suit City’s traditional passing game.
Western United had qualified as runners-up in the 2016 edition of the Solomon Islands S-League, and they took the lead in the 39th minute, when James Naka followed up a free kick that had rebounded off the post.
It took more than half an hour before White connected with a Tade free kick in the 75th minute to bring the scores level, and City then chased hard after a winner, receiving a boost when Nelson Sale received a second yellow card and was sent off, then another when Tade won the penalty.
Auckland City next play Lae City on Wednesday at Centre Park, with kick off at 4pm for the match which will likely decide who tops the group and advances to the semifinals.