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Amicale upsets champ

Zanzeer Singh
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

AMICALE of Vanuatu upset defending champions Auckland City 1-0 to book a spot in the semi-finals of the Oceania Football Association Champions League.

Dominique Fred nodded in the winning goal late in the first half following a cross from Nikola Visilic at Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday.

Auckland City dominated the first spell but could not get past goalkeeper Chikau Mansale who proved to be the standout player for Amicale.

Aucland City FC's Portuguese star Joao Moriera came off the bench in the second spell but failed to ignite his team as Amicale defended gallantly.

Amicale coach Nathan Hall said playing three 90 minute games in seven days was tough.

Hall said they disrupted Auckland City's game structure with their tight man to man marking.

"We had to work hard to get here because playing three games in seven days is tough," he said.

"We stuck with the same line-up. I'm proud of the efforts of the players. They defended gallantly. It was a good team performance.

"We took our chance well and gave them no space on the park. We know that Auckland City play good football. They have a coach who has been there for four to five years. They have a good system, structure and retain the ball well.

"So we knew that we needed to stop them playing football. We needed to get in their face and make it difficult for them to play the ball. We closed down the angles. Our goalkeeper made a few good saves."

Auckland City FC coach Roman Tribulietx said they failed to make use of their chances despite having 70 per cent of possession.

Tribulietx said frustration crept in as they tried hard to find the equaliser.

"In the first half we were completely in control and had most of the ball," he said.

"The second half was scrappy. There was a lot of frustration to chase that goal. We had our chances but could not put them away. We had 70 per cent of possession."

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