Play-off place secured
Auckland City FC became the first club to book a place in the ASB Premiership play-offs after winning 2-1 against NZ Wanderers on Sunday.
It was their second win in three days, guaranteeing the Navy Blues a top-three finish with two rounds remaining.
City took Southern United down 3-0 on Waitangi Day at Kiwitea St.
Goals either side of the half-hour mark from Alex Feneridis and Darren White earned Auckland an advantage they never looked like losing.
Sam Burfoot’s strike 16 minutes from time was the outstanding moment of a second half in which Feneridis was denied a second goal by the offside flag.
The Waitangi Day winners carried their form into Sunday’s action, again on home turf, against NZ Wanderers.
The bottom-placed team struck the crossbar twice inside the first four minutes thanks to Daniel Bowkett and Alex de Jong.
The attempts rid Auckland of any ideas that this would be a Sunday stroll and the Navy Blues stepped up their game accordingly.
Darren White scored City’s first goal of the match after a defensive mix-up afforded him a tap-in.
Emiliano Tade took full advantage of further shortcomings in Wanderers’ rearguard to double City’s lead just
half-hour after mark.
But the visitors weren’t the only team to be found wanting in defence with a Tamati Williams clearance giving de Jong a goal five minutes into the second spell.
City looked to restore their two-goal cushion with Chris Bale’s free kick rattling the post in stoppage time.
Auckland could clinch the minor premiership on Sunday with a win against Southern United at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Rough game: Auckland’s Darren White gets a push in the back from Wanderers player Deklan Wynne.
It's in: Emiliano Tade celebrates scoring City’s second goal of the Sunday match.
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