City’s win gives them a spot in the finals
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.