Auckland City keeping rep intact

JEREMY RUANE
Last updated 10:37 22/01/2013

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Auckland City are working hard to hold on to their unbeaten record in the 2012-13 ASB Premiership after a win against Otago United at Kiwitea St on Sunday.

The 3-1 victory made light of the outlandish $20 odds on offer for an away win at the TAB.

Otago United performed well throughout proceedings but it was the home team who took a two-goal advantage halfway through the first half, scoring two goals in seven minutes.

Ivan Vicelich started a delightful move down the right in the 17th minute, but it was the one-two between Pedro Cecelia Garcia and Manel Exposito which was the key element in the raid.

Garcia's fiercely struck drive was parried by former City goalkeeper Liam Little into the stride of Andrew Milne who lashed the ball faultlessly into the far corner of the unguarded net to put City in front.

Seven minutes later, Exposito's long-range free-kick ricocheted off Otago's defensive wall to leave Little completely wrong-footed doubling City's lead.

Inspired by Victor Da Costa, the visitors responded well to these setbacks, the fullback setting up Regan Coldicott's expertly taken 37th minute goal before rattling City's crossbar himself 90 seconds later.

But City kept their opponents at arm's length.

After a couple of close calls at both ends of the park, Auckland secured the points half-way through the second half when substitute Adam Dickinson steered home what proved to be the decisive third goal.

The game saw the navy blues bid a final farewell to the club's most prolific marksman, Keryn Jordan.

City remain five points behind leaders Waitakere United with a game in hand, and face a challenging encounter in Napier this Sunday. 

They visit Hawkes Bay United, who lie just one point and one place behind Ramon Tribulietx's team on the ASB Premiership table.

Auckland's ASB National Youth League team play their Hawkes Bay counterparts in the curtain-raiser to that match at Bluewater Stadium.

The Youth League team go into their match off of a 2-2 draw with the Northern Region U-17 squad, courtesy of goals in each half by Ahmed Alshamsi and Stephen Carmichael at North Harbour Stadium's outer oval.

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