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Late goal gives Auckland City victory

An extra-time goal by Liam Gillion has given Auckland City FC a win over Hekari United in the OFC Champions League in Tahiti.

Needing to put goals on the score sheet after an opening day draw to Rewa FC of Fiji, the New Zealand side had the possession, but not score they wanted against the Papau New Guinea club on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time).


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Hekari United were impressive in the second-half of their 2-0 win over Solomon Warriors last week and again looked threatening, especially on the break, as they sought a second win to all but ensure semi-final qualification.

Ati Kepo looked most likely for David Muta’s team in the first period but rather selfishly fired over the bar from wide on the right with team mates waiting in the penalty area.

The second-half followed a similar pattern to the first, with the pace of the match slowing slightly due to the hot and humid conditions.

Albert Riera’s side came closest through Gerard Garriga on two occasions, first hooking an effort wide from a tight angle, before lifting an attempted lob over the bar when well positioned.

Liam Gillion Auckland FC football
Auckland City FC goal scorer and Man of the Match Liam Gillion after his sides win over Hekari. PHOTO: OFC MEDIA/PHOTOTEK

Gillion was again the main source of threat for Auckland City FC, producing a great turn and shot on the 56th minute, palmed away well by Dave Tomare in the Hekari United goal.

The pacey winger went close again, flashing a free-kick over the bar from the right-hand side after he had been fouled inches outside the area. Moments later, substitute Stipe Ukich shot narrowly wide of Tomare’s right-hand post as the defending champions desperately looked for a way through.

Tomare was called into action as the 90 minutes elapsed, athletically tipping over a curled effort from Gerard Garriga to keep the scores level.

The winner would eventually come and it was little surprise that Gillion took it. Tapping in from a couple of yards out after Garriga latched on to a brilliant through ball before squaring it across the face of goal.

Auckland City 1 (Liam Gillion 90+3′) Hekari United 0. HT: 0-0


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