Auckland City Secure FIFA Payday With Another Oceania Win

by
Reuters
Two goals in four first half minutes were enough for Auckland City to clinch their third successive Oceania Champions League title against 10-man Waitakere United on Sunday.

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Two goals in four first half minutes were enough for Auckland City to clinch their third successive Oceania Champions League title against 10-man Waitakere United on Sunday.

The 2-1 victory ensured at least a $500,000 payday for the Auckland side and entry to the lucrative FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco in December.

Auckland's Adam Dickinson slotted home in the 16th minute after Waitakere goalkeeper Danny Robinson fumbled a deflected cross from Takuya Iwata before Alex Feneridis blasted home a shot from 30 metres that Robinson misread in the 20th minute.

The second goal, however, only sparked New Zealand's domestic champions into action with several attacking raids on Tamati Williams' goal before Waitakere's Roy Krishna managed to beat the offside trap in the 39th minute.

Instead of taking on Williams one-on-one, the Fiji striker calmly controlled the ball and squared it to Chad Coombes who pushed the ball home to give the west-Auckland side's fans hopes of their first Oceania title since 2008.

Waitakere pressed for an equaliser for most of the second half but were caught out on counter attacks by the Auckland team which resulted in Waitakere's Tim Myers receiving his second booking and a red card in the 59th minute.

"It was pretty tough for 10-men for quite a long period in that second half, probably 30 minutes, and the boys tried really hard," Waitakere coach Paul Marshall said in a televised interview.

"That first 20 minutes cost us. We were probably not in it for the first 20 minutes. A couple of goals against us and it just didn't pan out really."

Auckland's victory was their fourth Champions League title since the competition was revamped in 2007 and earned their third successive trip to the FIFA tournament, which involves club champions from all six confederations.

The amateur side shocked world soccer when they made the quarter-finals of the tournament in 2009 and were competitive in their only match last year in Japan.

"We played a really good game, it was tight but we got away with a win," Auckland City coach Ramon Tribuletix said.

"We're going to enjoy ourselves right now. Morocco will come later in the year."