AUDIO - Navy Blues grab top spot

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 26 November 2016

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC are back at the top of the Stirling Sports Premiership after a 1-0 win over Hawke's Bay United at Kiwitea Street today.

Micah Lea'alafa's second minute strike from a Takuya Iwata cross was the difference as the Navy Blues took an early lead over a Bay side determined to remain difficult to breakdown.

After making a massive impression last season, Lea’alafa’s impact has so far been muted in the current campaign after returning from the Solomon Islands late in the piece.

But he wasted no time in making his mark this afternoon, sliding in to slot home a low Iwata cross in just the second minute.

City went on to completely dominate the half and will have been disappointed to have gone into the sheds with only a one-goal lead after creating several other chances.

They continued to show their superiority for much of the second spell but Hawke’s Bay did well to stay in the contest and even put themselves into a position to take something from the game when piling on the pressure late on.

AUDIO - Ramon Tribulietx 

Hawke's Bay struggled to create clearcut chances though they did see a lot of the ball - Fergus Neil wasted a particularly decent chance to level when he sent a snapshot wide of the target on the 20 minute mark.

Auckland City FC could've doubled their lead when Ryan De Vries slalomed past a stretched Bay defence only for Saul Halpin to somehow hook the ball off the line in a move reminiscent of Bill Tuiloma's clearance for the All Whites in their 0-0 draw with New Caledonia.

Elsewhere, Eastern Suburbs AFC travelled to the capital to meet defending champions Team Wellington with the match ending in a 0-0 draw.

The result was enough to see the Lilywhites slip to second behind the Navy Blues while Team Wellington leapfrog city rivals Wellington Phoenix into third place.

The Navy Blues next match is a friendly with Hong Kong Rangers at the Kitchee Sports Centre in Hong Kong on November 29.

Following preparations in Hong Kong, Auckland City FC moves on to Japan where they play their second match of the tour with SC Sagamihara on December 2.

The FIFA Club World Cup Playoff is scheduled for December 8.


Match Result
Stirling Sports Premiership
Saturday 26 November, 2016
Auckland City FC 1 (Micah Lea'alafa 2')
Hawke's Bay United 0
Halftime: 1-0

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