FIFA Club World Cup in their sights

Central Leader - - SPORT - By JEREMY RUANE

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.

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