Waitakere United will host Auckland City in a do-or-die final round encounter at Trusts Stadium on Wednesday to determine who will reach the final of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) O-League.
Waitakere sit one point ahead of Auckland City in the Group A standings and know that a draw will be enough to cement their spot in the final for the second successive year.
Auckland will be buoyed on by the return to full fitness of South African international Keryn Jordan, who will give City an extra spark in attack and will be determined to unravel a stubborn Waitakere defence.
Auckland has only been able to score past Waitakere once in their four meetings this year (three NZFC, one OFC O-League). Their solitary goal came against United in their 1-1 NZFC meeting back in December last year. Since then Waitakere has won three in a row and will head into the match as favourites.
Waitakere will be counting on experienced defenders Danny Hay and Johnathon Perry to fight off Auckland’s attack once again in their most important match of the season.
The match will attract great interest from the Solomon Islands, particularly Honiara, where Kossa FC will eagerly await news of who they will face in the OFC O-League final.
Solomon Island champions Kossa FC beat Ba on Sunday to win Group B and progress to their first OFC O-League final.
The winner of Group A will face Kossa FC in a home and away final to determine who will travel to the FIFA Club World Cup – Japan 2008.
www.oceaniafootball.com will be providing live updates throughout the match.
Oceania Football Confederation O-League
WAITAKERE UNITED (NZL) vs. AUCKLAND CITY (NZL)
Venue: Trusts Stadium, Auckland.
Date: Wednesday, 2 April, 2008 (NZT)
Kick-off: 17H00 (NZT)
Group A Standings:
|Waitakere Utd (NZL)||3||2||1||0||4||2||7||2|
|Auckland City (NZL)||3||2||0||1||7||1||6||6|
|AS Manu Ura (TAH)||4||0||1||3||2||10||1||-7|
WAI: 1. Richard GILLISPIE GK; 2. Jonathan PERRY; 5. Danny HAY; 6. Darren BAZELY; 7. Jason HAYNE; 8. Commins MENAPI; 9. Benjamin TOTORI; 10. Allen PEARCE; 11. Neil SYKES; 13. Daniel KOPRIVIC; 14. Hoani EDWARDS; 15. Christopher BALE; 16. Neil EMBLEM; 17. Jake BUTLER; 21. Graham PEARCE; 22. Simon EADDY (GK); 24. Tim MYERS; 27. Tom WEBB;
Coach: Chris MILICICH (NZL)
AKL: 2. Joel MATTHEWS; 3. Craig WYLIE; 5. Ben SIGMUND; 6. Ki-Hyung LEE; 7. James PRITCHETT; 8. Chad COOMBES; 9. Paul URLOVIC; 10. Grant YOUNG; 12. Tamati WILLIAMS (GK); 13. Alex FENERIDIS; 14. Keryn JORDAN; 15. Jeff CAMPBELL; 16. George SURI; 19. Salesh KUMAR; 20. Greg UHLMANN; 24. Sam Campbell; 27. John NIYONSABA; 30. Mark FULCHER (GK)
Coach: Colin TUAA (NZL)
Referee: Norbert HAUATA (TAH)
Assistant Referee 1: Raimana TAUOTAHA (TAH)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe Revel (TAH)