FIFA Club World Cup in their sights
Auckland City scored a crucial away goal in the first leg of the OFC Champions League Grand Final against Amicale in Port Vila on Saturday.
The one-all draw means they are just 90 minutes away from qualifying for the FIFA Club World Cup Finals for a sixth time.
The 10,000 local fans were silenced on the half-hour as Ryan de Vries set up Emiliano Tade and Auckland City forged ahead.
Fifteen minutes from time City were guilty of a defensive lapse allowing Amicale’s Dominique Fred to find the back of the net.
Home turf could prove all the difference this Sunday with Amicale’s two previous visits to Kiwitea Street resulting in 4-0 and 3-2 losses.
Amicale will also be without captain Nelson Sale, a former Auckland City player, who will miss the return leg on Sunday through suspension.
Should City qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup Finals they will become the first football franchise in New Zealand to hold the OFC Champions League, ASB Premiership, National Youth League and Charity Cup – simultaneously.
It was a terrific weekend for local football teams in both league and cup action with central teams recording a number of wins.
Onehunga Mangere upset Papatoetoe 3-1 in the first round of the Chatham Cup.
Mt Albert-Ponsonby came close to being victims of an upset as they were taken to extra time by Bucklands Beach but eventually came out on top winning 3-1.
In the Lotto Northern Premier League Onehunga Sports claimed the outright lead after beating reigning champions East Coast Bays 3-1.
Three Kings United came from a goal behind at Keith Hay Park to demolish Ngaruawahia United 7-2.
Central United managed to climb off the bottom of the table after a 2-0 win over Birkenhead United.
In the Lotto Northern Premier Women’s League Metro upset Fencibles United in the knockout with a 2-0 win.