You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Auckland City too good for Lae City

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/03/2017 Angelo Risso

Auckland City have all but ensured their passage to the Oceania Champions League semi-finals with a cruisy 2-0 win over Lae City Dwellers.

Clayton Lewis goals in either half handed the Navy Blues the simplest of victories against their Papua New Guinean opponents, who barely had a touch of the ball after midfielder Troy Gunemba's 50th-minute dismissal.

A draw against the already-eliminated Malampa Revivors on Saturday will now be enough to send Auckland City into next month's semi-finals.

"We dominated from the start," coach Ramon Tribulietx said.

"We created heaps of chances but, in one way or another, we didn't put them away."

A nondescript opening ensued at Mangere Centre Park, as Lae City sat deep and built a defensive shield around their box.

Yet the defending Oceanian champions still found ways to chip through, with wingers Lewis and Emiliano Tade tucking into more central roles and fullbacks Takuya Iwata and Kim Dae-wook bombing forward.

Tade missed a pair of one-on-one opportunities in the first 20 minutes before Lewis, an All Whites international, missed two chances of his own.

Only a half-chance to Lae City's Kiwi player George Debenham, meanwhile, caused the Navy Blues defence any first-stanza anxiety.

And after pounding at the door for 43 minutes, Auckland finally got their opener through Lewis, who finished off a set-piece move with a clever dink.

Down 1-0 at the break, Lae City kissed any hope of a revival goodbye when Gunemba earned his second yellow within five minutes of the restart.

Auckland set up shop on the 10-man Lae City's 18-yard box in response and, after missing chances through Fabrizio Tavano and Cam Howieson, nabbed a second.

Tade was set free by a lofted through ball down the left flank, which he squared for Lewis to tap home in the 60th minute.

Coasting to victory, the Navy Blues took their foot off the accelerator after Lewis' second and rode out a 2-0 win.

In the other Group C match, Vanuatu-based Malampa fell 2-1 to Western United.

"It's another team that can do the unexpected," Tribulietx said of Malampa.

"A battle against a team that will run and run and run, with a lot of intensity."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon