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Late winner for Auckland City in OFCCL

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/03/2017 Angelo Risso

An Emiliano Tade late show has handed Auckland City a winning start to their Oceania Champions League defence, edging Western United 2-1.

The Navy Blues dominated from first minute to last in Auckland but wasted chance after chance until the 29-year-old Argentine's 54th-minute injection.

The winger immediately made an impact, whipping in several dangerous free kicks and engineering Darren White's 74th-minute equaliser.

He then won and scored an 86th-minute penalty to break the Honiara-based Western United's hearts after they earned an unlikely first-half lead through James Naka.

Auckland will now look to continue their tilt towards a seventh straight Oceanian title in Wednesday's Group C match against Lae City Dwellers.

"At the end, with more desire than football, we did it again," Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx said.

"So really happy with the comeback and mentality of the players."

Pressing without reward in the opening stages, the Navy Blues let chances to Fabrizio Tavano, Ryan de Vries and Joao Moreira go begging.

A disallowed Moreira strike followed before Auckland City went one down in spectacular fashion in the 38th minute.

Former Team Wellington forward Henry Fa'arodo unleashed a curling free kick from 30 yards, which hit keeper Enaut Zubikarai's right post.

But Naka was on hand to poke in the rebound.

Auckland City continued to press ahead, with Mario Bilen and Albert Riera directing their side around the park.

But they couldn't draw level before the break, and continued to probe unsuccessfully in the second half.

Moreira, Tavano and Marko Dordevic wasted more half-chances before Tade came in and settled the match in his side's favour.

In the earlier Group C match, Lae City crushed Malampa Revivors 5-2.

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