Magic run con­tin­ues

Central Leader - - SPORT -

Auck­land City FC face their next chal­lenge to­mor­row morn­ing in an at­tempt to yet again defy the odds and keep their mag­i­cal run alive.

City stunned African cham­pi­ons ES Setif 1-0 to seal a FIFA Club World Cup semi­fi­nal show­down with San Lorenzo of Ar­gentina in Mar­rakesh.

ES Setif were up­staged by the Navy Blues much to the de­light of the Moroc­can crowd, who were clearly be­hind the boys from Auck­land ev­ery step of the way.

De­fender and man-of-the-match John Irv­ing de­cided the match with his great fin­ish from the edge of the penalty area in the 52nd minute.

‘‘We played ex­tremely well and cre­ated a lot of chances, and re­ally the only thing miss­ing was a sec- ond goal,’’ coach Ra­mon Tribu­li­etx says.

‘‘I’m re­ally proud of my play­ers. To put in a per­for­mance like that against the win­ners of the African Cham­pi­ons League, after a re­ally tough 120 min­utes in our first game, is just un­be­liev­able,’’ he says.

The win se­cured an ad­di­tional US$1m in prize money for the club. The money is to be shared with NZ Foot­ball and the ASB Premier­ship par­tic­i­pants, with City keep­ing half their earn­ings for them­selves.

City will take on San Lorenzo to­mor­row at 8.30am (NZ time)with the win­ner of that game more than likely meet­ing Euro­pean heavy­weights Real Madrid in the fi­nal.

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