Title rivals Papatoetoe and Central United both won their latest games to maintain their head-to-head dual at the top of the NRF Men’s Championship.
Papatoetoe beat 10-man South Auckland Rangers 2-1 at Rongomai Park while Central United brushed off bottom team Lynn-Avon United 4-0 at their Croatian Cultural Club ground.
Third-placed Papakura City picked up three points with a 3-2 win against Uni-Mount Bohemian at Bill McKinlay Park but they now need too many other results to go their way to stay in the title hunt.
Papatoetoe fell behind at Rangers, when Jayden Reddy opened the scoring in the 37th minute.
Sandip Singh scored from the penalty spot for Papatoetoe in the 41st minute to provide a 1-0 lead at the turnaround.
Jayden Reddy levelled for Rangers early in the second half.
Main photo: Sandip Singh … scored Papatoetoe’s first goal of the game. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Captain Louis Corkill put Papatoetoe ahead in the 54th minute and then Rangers were reduced to 10 men for the last half hour when Evinish Prasad picked up his second yellow card.
Including his indiscretions, Rangers collected seven cautions in a busy game for referee Derek Anderson.
Central, who are three points behind Papatoetoe but with a game in hand, effectively won their game against Lynn-Avon United with four goals in the first half.
Matthew Metzger (2), Linus Backman and Brandon James saw Central into a comfortable lead which they defended in a goalless second half.
The title race looks like it’ll come to a showdown on Saturday September 3 when Central host Papatoetoe at Kiwitea Street.
Regardless of that result, Central have to play Papakura City a week later and that could be the spoiler.
Papakura City beat Uni-Mount Bohemian 3-2 in their latest game, taking a 3-1 lead into half-time thanks to goals from Cory Mackay, Mxxevior Mika and an own goal credited to Uni-Mount’s Matthew Shaw.
Game played Friday August 19, 2022
Ranui Swanson 2 (Mohammed Haj 62′, Daniel Faure 69′)
Te Atatu 1 (Rhys Caples 37′)
Games played Saturday August 20, 2022
Uni-Mount Bohemian 2 (Ahmad Zara 13′, Shane Boylan 88′)
Papakura City 3 (Cory Mackay 8′, Mcxevior Mika 14′, own goal 29′)
South Auckland Rangers 1 (Jayden Reddy)
Papatoetoe 2 (Sandip Singh 41′, Louis Corkill 54′)
Central United 4 (Matthew Metzger 27’pen, 42′, Linus Backman 34′, Brandon James 44′)
Lynn-Avon United 0