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Tade treble sends Navy Blues top

Words: ACFC Media

Sunday 25 February 2018

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – A hat-trick by Emiliano Tade guided Auckland City FC to a 7-0 romp over AS Venus in the OFC Champions League at Trusts Arena today.

Tade's treble and goals to Reid Drake, Micah Lea’alafa, Dalton Wilkins – scoring on his OFC Champions League debut - and Callum McCowatt completed an afternoon of dominance for the table-topping Navy Blues.

The last time Auckland City FC faced Tahitian opposition on this same venue it ended in humiliation when AS Dragon beat the Navy Blues 3-1 in 2013 but there were no signs of any such upset here.

Auckland City FC coach, Ramon Tribulietx was pleased with the result as his team fired a warning to those aspiring to end their seven-in-a-row title winning sequence.

“We spoke about controlling the game from the start, keeping the ball and learning from it, I think we did that really well in the first half.”

“We didn’t really give them (AS Vénus) much to go off, a couple of shots from distance, but we really didn’t give them too much, but a good performance and that’s the way to keep going.”

Tade stood out for the Navy Blues but the contribution of substitute Wilkins impressed Tribulietx with his ability to play in two positions on the park.

AUDIO - Ramon Tribulietx on OFC Champions League win

“We have a player like Dalton Wilkins, who played in two positions and none of those positions were his natural positions, so it’s great to see the team, the players understand exactly the what we want to play regardless of where they play, higher or deeper on the field.”

“Emiliano is a very important player for us, good to see him putting goals away, but we understand how important it is for those strikers to score goals, so it’s great to see that, but I think the whole team performed really well.”

Tade is currently tied in second place for the Golden Boot race a long with Solomon Warriors forward, Gagame Feni and Lae City Dwellers forward Nigel Dabingyaba.

The trio currently sits behind AS Dragon Midfielder Tamatoa Tetauira and Toti City Dwellers forward Raymond Gunemba who are both equal on four goals.

On Wednesday, Auckland City FC will take on Madang in their second OFC Champions League match, where Tribulietx is well aware of the attacking threat the Papua New Guinean side currently possesses.

“They’ve got some very skillful players, especially in the front line, very typical island players, small, but technically very good, very fast, so we need to understand that it’s probably going to be different than this Tahitian team, probably a little more attacking minded.”

“It’ll be a matter of whether or not we can control the game,” he told www.aucklandcityfc.com

In the day's other match, Lautoka got off to a winning start beating Papua New Guinea's Madang FC 3-1.

Ends

Match Details
OFC Champions League
Group C
Sunday 25 February 2018
AS Venus 0
Auckland City FC 7 (Emiliano Tade 7', 36'-pen, 74', Micah Lea'alafa 44', Callum McCowatt 59', Reid Drake 37', Dalton Wilkins 66')
HT: 0-4

AC: Zubikarai (GK); Berlanga (c), Hudson-Wihongi, Rogers, Morgan, R Drake, Peverley (Graham 74'), Howieson (White 69'), Lea'alafa (Wilkins 46'), Tade, McCowatt.

Subs not used: Tracey (GK), Bright, H Edge, Parker-Price.

Coach: Ramon Tribulietx.

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