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Auckland City FC book semi spot with win over Rewa FC

Auckland City's Mario Ilich celebrates his goal. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.phototek.nz

Auckland City FC confirmed their place in the semi-finals of the Oceania Champions League 2022 with a 3-0 victory over Rewa FC on Monday afternoon at Ngahue Reserve in Auckland.

After an impressive opening 5-0 win over Hienghène Sport last week, the result means City will go into their final group match against Nikao Sokattak FC knowing they will be taking part in Sunday’s semi-finals regardless of the result.

First-half goals from skipper and New Zealand representative Cam Howieson, on his way to Player of the Match honours, and Mario Ilich did much of the damage for the nine-time OCL champions, before Emiliano Tade produced a beautiful chipped shot in the dying stages to put the icing on the victory.

Earlier City had to fend off a fast start from Rewa FC which saw the Fijians employ a high press and create a couple of scoring chances.

However that tactic also meant Rewa were vulnerable on the counter, and only the quick thinking of keeper Mohammed Alam denied City an opener early on, as he swarmed to block a shot off Howieson’s foot from close range.

But eventually Auckland City found a way through after surviving a near miss at the other end when Abbu Zahid couldn’t get to a driven cross, breaking via Dylan Manickum who was then brought down illegally by Iowane Matanisiga, resulting in a penalty and yellow card.

Howieson converted with a crisp effort from the spot, before turning provider nine minutes later for Ilich.

Howieson delivered a ball from a corner which Alam initially did well to save, but was powerless to stop on the second bounce which Ilich tapped home.

City controlled proceedings through the second half, enjoying long periods of possession and soaking up the few chances Rewa did create, before Tade got in behind the Rewa defence and produced a stunning shot up over the advancing Alam to seal a 3-0 victory.

Rewa FC 0

Auckland City FC 3 (Cam HOWIESON 26’, Mario ILICH 35′, Emiliano TADE 90+4′)

Half-time: 0-2

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