Trophy finally Auckland’s
They’ve finally done it.
The long-awaited ASB Premiership trophy is heading back to Kiwitea St for the first time in five years after Auckland City FC edged out Team Wellington 1-0 in the final on Sunday.
The New Zealand Football title win cements the Navy Blues’ position as the top New Zealand club.
City were made to work hard for the ASB Premiership trophy by a Team Wellington combination which pressed Auckland at every opportunity throughout the first half. Just after the half hour mark, Emiliano Tade scored the only goal of the match. John Irving’s ball picked out Tade, neatly controlling the ball on his chest before darting between two defenders and lobbing over the advancing figure of Jacob Spoonley.
The Wellington keeper could only turn and look on in despair as the ball bounced into the net.
The goal forced Wellington to change their tactics but they came up against a resolute Auckland rearguard in which captain Ivan Vicelich was at his commanding best.
City’s defensive effort meant almost every Wellington attempt was taken from outside the penalty area. The visitors came desperately close to equalising in stoppage time but City were able to celebrate just moments later when they were awarded their long-awaited fifth ASB Premiership crown.
Ramon Tribulietx’s charges now enjoy a week off before regrouping to take on the top Oceania clubs in the OFC Champions League in Fiji, starting on April 7.
City have been drawn to play Fiji, Tahiti and Vanuatu in their group. The final will take place in May and the winners will represent Oceania at the FIFA Club World Cup Finals in December.
Won it: Auckland City FC celebrate their long-awaited premiership win.
Score: Emiliano Tade celebrates scoring the first and only goal during the ASB premiership final.
Top team: Captain Ivan Vicelich leads his team to victory.