Win is twice as sweet for City
It was deja vu for the Auckland City football side after they defeated Waitakere United on Sunday at Douglas Field for the second time in as many weeks.
The 3-1 win in the last round robin match of the Oceania Champions League follows a victory over Waitakere in the New Zealand Football Championship grand final the previous week.
City will now face Solomon Islands champions Koloale FC twice in an O-League grand final home and away series, with the winner qualifying for December’s Fifa Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Both teams had a player sent off in the fiercely contested affair, with City’s Greg Uhlmann given his marching orders along with Waitakere defender Neil Emblen.
Auckland’s Matt Friel opened the scoring after 68 minutes having spotted United keeper Danny Robinson off his line.
From 40 metres Friel produced a perfect lobbed free-kick that defeated Robinson to the delight of the City faithful. United had to go for it, and in doing so left themselves vulnerable to a counter-attack, which striker Keryn Jordan took advantage of, putting his side 2-0 up with 15 minutes to go.
And four minutes later substitute Adam McGeorge scored after latching on to a Jordan pass to seal the win for City.
Roy Krishna pulled out a consolation goal for Waitakere in the 83rd minute.
City’s matches against Koloale are in Honiara on April 25 and at Kiwitea Street on May 3.
Meanwhile in Northern Premier League action reigning champions Central United got off to a flying start, defeating Bay Olympic 9-2.
Lynn-Avon United overcame Metro 2-1 and Onehunga Sports drew 3-3 with Hamilton Wanderers.
In Northern Premier Women’s League action Three Kings United scored a hard-fought 10 win over Claudelands Rovers, while Lynn-Avon were held to a scoreless draw by Eastern Suburbs.