Cen­tral United snap One­hunga’s streak

Central Leader - - SITUATIONS VACANT - SAMHEWAT

Cen­tral United have bro­ken One­hunga United’s seven-game win streak in the North­ern Re­gional Foot­ball League, thanks to a 2-0 vic­tory at home on Satur­day.

Ar­min Pasagic scored a penalty in the 42nd minute be­fore Vin­cent Pineau sealed the deal with a goal in the 83rd.

One­hunga were sit­ting pretty at the top of the premier ta­ble, hav­ing al­lowed just six goals through nine games. They were also at the top of the goal scor­ing charts mak­ing them the tough­est side in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Mean­while, Cen­tral had strug­gled for form in the open­ing half of the sea­son, sit­ting third-to­last with just three wins from nine games.

How­ever, with the end of the Stir­ling Sports Pre­mier­ship and Ocea­nia Foot­ball Con­fed­er­a­tion Cham­pi­ons League, Cen­tral were strength­ened by a num­ber of Auck­land City play­ers.

Cen­tral coach Aaron McFar­land said their in­flu­ence had been mas­sive for his side.

‘‘Hav­ing those few guys come back from na­tional league sides def­i­nitely helped bol­ster our squad,’’ McFar­land said.

‘‘They def­i­nitely add some com­pe­ti­tion for spots, and we want to cre­ate a cul­ture where it’s not just rep­u­ta­tion that gets you on the team sheet but cur­rent per­for­mances.’’

McFar­land said the vic­tory was good for his team con­sid­er­ing One­hunga’s re­cent form, how­ever, the Chatham Cup was where his team’s fo­cus was.

The Chatham Cup was formed in 1923 and is New Zealand’s premier knock­out foot­ball tour­na­ment, of­ten in­volv­ing be­tween 120 to 150 teams across the coun­try ev­ery year.

It is con­sid­ered one of the most pres­ti­gious tour­na­ment’s in New Zealand foot­ball.

‘‘The league is im­por­tant, but for us the Chatham Cup is the re­ally big goal,’’ McFar­land said.

Auck­land City mid­fielder and Cen­tral United cap­tain Mario Il­lich echoed those sen­ti­ments and said the Chatham Cup was the most im­por­tant cup ev­ery year. He said his team’s per­for­mance on Satur­day was a good sign the squad was start­ing to gel.

‘‘It’s taken a while, but we’ve got on a roll now,’’ Il­lich said.

‘‘We’ve got four or five guys back with more ex­pe­ri­ence un­der their belts so I think we’re head­ing in the right di­rec­tion, but it’s still go­ing to be a bit of a climb.’’

Cen­tral play East Coast Bays this week­end.

PHOTOTEK

Cen­tral United are cel­e­brat­ing a 2-0 win over top-of-the-ta­ble One­hunga United in the North­ern Re­gional Foot­ball League on Satur­day.

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