Tahitians swept aside in friendly win

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 11 February 2017

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC have beaten Tahitian side Central Sport 5-1 at Centre Park in Mangere.

The friendly match was arranged with giving fringe players much needed game time ahead of one of the most challenging fixture runs in the club's history.

The Navy Blues scored twice via Joao Moreira inside the first 26 minutes before recent signing Abdullah Al-Kalisy got in on the act on 34 minutes.

Javier Castillo pulled one back for the visitors four minutes later but Moreira was denied a hat-trick by an offside flag before the break.

Central Sport survived a series of late attacks to trail 3-1 at halftime.

Dae Wook Kim, who scored a memorable goal against Kashima Antlers at the FIFA Club World Cup last year, restored the Navy Blues three goal advantage when he headed home from a corner ten minutes after the restart.

Al-Kalisy then saw his penalty saved with ten minutes left but Emiliano Tade completed the rout when his speculative effort hit the back of the net with Central Sport well beaten.

Auckland City FC coach Ramon Tribulietx said it was an exercise well worth the effort.

"This was a good opportunity for some players who haven't participated much so far.

"Central Sport were at the club at the end of last year and mentioned they were coming to New Zealand for a tour and would like to play a friendly against us which we readily accepted," he said.

With the team struggling for goals in the Stirling Sports Premiership, Tribulietx will have been encouraged by what he saw.

"The numbers don't lie with regards to goals scored. The reality is that we have created a lot of opportunities in all games.

"Strikers go through these periods where they find it harder to convert the chances so hopefully with a bit of time we will get sharper and put those chances away.

"The players all understand the situation right now. We have acknowledged some things that might be affecting us in regards of how we play the games.

"We hope there will be a bit more continuity of our attacking ideas in the weeks to come," he said.

The Navy Blues now face Wellington Phoenix U-20 at Kiwitea Street tomorrow at 4.35pm NZST.

Ends

Match Result
Friendly
Friday 10 February 2017
Auckland City FC 5 (Joao Moreira 16', 26', Abdullah Al-Kalisy 34', Dae Wook Kim 55', Emiliano Tade 87')
Central Sport 1 (Castillo 38')
Halftime: 3-1
Abdullah Ak-Kalisy penalty saved 80'

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