Dou­ble vic­tory puts club at top

Central Leader - - SPORT - By JEREMY RUANE

A dou­ble Auck­land City FC vic­tory over the weekend has left the club at the top of the ASB Premier­ship and the ASB Na­tional Youth League’s North­ern Con­fer­ence with both teams record­ing solid vic­to­ries over WaiBOP United.

Ra­mon Tribu­li­etx’s Navy Blues main­tained their league lead with a 2-0 win at John Kerkhof Park on Satur­day.

Just four min­utes into the match, a goal line clear­ance from Alexis Varela pre­vented Daniel Ko­priv­cic from putting the visi­tors in front.

A su­perb Andy Mc­Neil save de­nied An­gel Ber­langa at point-blank range 15 min­utes later but the goal­keeper and his col­leagues were de­ceived by Emil­iano Tade’s di­rect free-kick just be­fore half­time.

The home team looked to come back early in the sec­ond spell, but Jack McNab’s penalty claims were dis­missed.

Both Dar­ren White and Ryan de Vries were de­nied by Mc­Neil in the clos­ing stages as the visi­tors fin­ished strongly.

In stop­page time, White struck af­ter another goal line clear­ance by Varela to se­cure the vic­tory.

Auck­land City will take on NZ Wan­der­ers at North Har­bour Sta­dium tonight and host Can­ter­bury United in a top-of-the-ta­ble bat­tle at Ki­witea St on Sun­day.

Chris Zori­cich’s Academy squad was also in fine form against WaiBOP’s ASB Youth League charges at Ki­witea St on Satur­day, record­ing their sec­ond win in as many matches with a 3-1 tri­umph.

Ti­nashe Mo­rawa and Moses Dyer had the home team two goals ahead in­side the open­ing 15 min­utes.

Stephen Ashby-Peck­ham ex­tended City’s ad­van­tage to three goals be­fore Adam Luque marked his re­turn from in­jury by scor­ing WaiBOP’s con­so­la­tion strike straight from the kick-off.

City’s young­sters take on sec­ond­placed Auck­land United on Sun­day at the Croa­t­ian Cul­tural So­ci­ety.

Photo: PHOTOSPORT.CO.NZ

Boot it:

Auck­land’s Ryan de Vries com­petes against WaiBOP’s Alexis Varela.

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