Auckland City confirmed their favouritism against the Samoan side of Lupe o le Soaga and seal their spot as OFC Champions League – Group D winners in the knock-out stage. The New Zealand will host one of the quarterfinals of the regional tournament.
Despite their third win in three games, it was expected Auckland City to win by a bigger margin than only 2-0 against a team coming from the preliminary stage.
The Navy Blues just went upfront at the 30th minute of play when the Ni-Vanuatu defender Brian Kaltak tapped-in a great corner after an excellent setup play by the New Zealand side.
Lupe managed to have a significant share of possession of the ball and could put some pressure upfront on Auckland – crossing some balls to area and with some longs good shots specially from the youngster Jarvis Filimalae.
Auckland would take long to score again, only at the 68th through the efforts of Dylan Manickum with a very good finish after a mistake of Lupe’s goalkeeper Zane Green.
The New Zealand-based side managed to create some trouble to the Samoan defense with his good passing combinations and the pace of players as Logan Rogerson, but the Navy Blues could not find the back of the net again. Lupe also had their moments in the second half, the two-New Zealand attackers Jamie Mason and Tom Mosquera combined well in some opportunities and in one of those Mosquera forced Cameron Brown to a decent save to avoid a goal that would be historical for Lupe o le Soaga.
Lupe o le Soaga reduced Auckland to an only 2-0 defeat; this was the second time a team from New Zealand scored only two goals in a Samoan side – Waitakere United won Kiwi by 2-0 in the 2014 edition of OFC Champions League. Both matches are tied up as the best result ever of a Samoan team against a New Zealand side. Another huge milestone for Lupe in their campaign – that comes to and end now – in the regional tournament.
Auckland could have done better, but they really did not wanted to waste so much energy in this match. Their 2-0 win seemed to be what the team expected from this clash – ending winning all matches in the process and going through the group without any problems.