City’s win gives them a spot in the fi­nals

Central Leader - - Sport - By Jeremy Ruane

Auck­land City over­came the odds on Sun­day, tak­ing out a 3-0 win against Youngheart Manawatu to book them­selves a spot in the New Zealand Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship fi­nal.

City had to de­feat Manawatu by a sig­nif­i­cant mar­gin at Ki­witea St, af­ter a 3-1 loss to the vis­i­tors in Palmer­ston North last week put them two goals be­hind in the semi­fi­nals se­ries.

And the 3-0 win proved to be just enough, putting City ahead 4-3 af­ter the two matches.

Chad Coombes, Paul Urlovic, Grant Young and Matt Wil­liams all went close in the first half, but couldn’t de­feat Manawatu goal­keeper Chris Marsh.

How­ever Coombes sent the home side 1-0 ahead just be­fore the break from a Ki Hyung Lee cor­ner.

A string of chances fol­lowed, with Alex Fener­idis, Lee, Urlovic and Wil­liams all go­ing close.

But it was the in­tro­duc­tion of Keryn Jor­dan 20 min­utes from time that fin­ished off any hope Manawatu had of victory.

Young was felled by Manawatu player Scott Rob­son in the penalty area and Jor­dan buried the re­sult­ing shot at goal in the back of the net.

With three min­utes left on the clock Jor­dan was in action again, calmly steer­ing home a goal which clinched City’s berth in next week’s grand fi­nal along­side de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Waitakere United.

It’ll be the third time City have faced Waitakere in the New Zealand Foot­ball Cham­pion fi­nal dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion’s five-year his­tory with two pre­vi­ous vic­to­ries to their name.

The fi­nal takes place at Dou­glas Field in Waitakere on Sun­day from 2.05pm.

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