Central United have beaten Papatoetoe 2-1 in a top-of-the-table clash that ensures the title race could not be closer.
The result leaves the teams tied on 43 competition points and with the same goal difference.
Papatoetoe lead on the strength of having scored one goal more than Central so far this season.
In the crucial meeting at Kiwitea Street, Central United struck first, with Matthew Metzger scoring in the 10th minute.
Papatoetoe’s Christopher Groen levelled on the half hour and the sides went into the break tied at 1-1.
Central’s game-winner came 10 minutes from full time when Sam Lloyd scored.
Main photo: Central United … emerged as winners in top-of-the-table meeting with Papatoetoe. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Meanwhile, third-placed Papakura City dropped two points when they drew 1-1 at Lynn-Avon United’s Ken Maunder Park.
The home side took a first half lead through Jonathan Lopez Rey, who scored in the 13th minute.
Papakura’s equaliser was scored by substitute Kartik Kumar in the 65th minute.
Ranui Swanson beat South Auckland Rangers 1-0 at Rongomai Park.
The goal came from Daniel Faure in the 64th minute.
Uni-Mount Bohemian secured their third win of the season with a 1-0 victory against Te Atatu at Bill McKinlay Park.
The winning goal came from Luc Hamill in the 59th minute.
Games played Saturday September 3, 2022
Uni-Mount Bohemian 1 (Luc Hamill 59′)
Te Atatu 0
South Auckland Rangers 0
Ranui Swanson 1 (Daniel Faure 64′)
Lynn-Avon United 1 (Jonathan Lopez Rey 13′)
Papakura City 1 (Kartik Kumar 65′)
Central United 2 (Matthew Metzger 10′, Sam Lloyd 80′)
Papatoetoe 1 (Christopher Groen 30′)
Game to be played on Thursday September 8, 2022
Uni-Mount Bohemian v South Auckland Rangers
Bill McKinlay Park, Mt Wellington, 7.30pm
Game to be played on Friday September 9, 2022
Ranui Swanson v Lynn-Avon United
Starling Park, Ranui,7.30pm
Games to be played on Saturday September 10, 2022
Te Atatu v Papatoetoe
Te Atatu Peninsula Park, 3pm
Papakura City v Central United
McLennan Park, Papakura, 5pm