Auckland City can take a break
Auckland City can relax and put their feet up this weekend.
With a top spot in the ASB Premiership cemented after their 3-1 victory over Canterbury United at Kiwitea St on Sunday, a well-earned rest awaits.
First place is guaranteed for the defending champions heading into the semifinals next month with second-placed Team Wellington too far behind to catch them.
But comfort is not yet in the team’s horizons as City prepare for their penultimate regular season fixture with cross-town rivals Waitakere Utd on March 8.
City’s winning streak is now at eight in the premiership, a run of form which has seen them become eligible to be the country’s second representative in the 2015-16 OFC Champions League, should New Zealand be entitled to two entries.
But they didn’t have it all their own way against the boys from the south.
Canterbury Utd went straight to work against the top dogs on Sunday, despite their eighthranked position in the table.
Mark Peers got the visitors on the board at the 15-minute mark.
But City’s class shone through 15 minutes later when Ivan Carril produced yet another goal from a free-kick.
The momentum of the match swung back towards Auckland City early in the second half when Oscar Garcia nudged his side in front when he slotted home from the penalty spot on 56 minutes.
Canterbury’s fading playoff hopes took another hit when Joao Moreira scored his first goal for the season, shooting beyond Adam Highfield 10 minutes later to make it 3-1.
Facial treatment: Canterbury’s Cory Mitchell clobbers Auckland’s Ivan Carril.
Hard hit: Auckland Grammar’s Flynn McGregorSumpter goes all out.
Eyes up: King’s bowler Jordan van Riele approaches the crease.