After 18 rounds of competition, the Central League title will be decided by 90 minutes of football — and a bit of stoppage time, no doubt — when arch rivals Wellington Olympic and Miramar Rangers meet on Friday night.
The two heavyweights of Wellington football will play the last match of the Central League season under the lights at Wakefield Park.
Olympic, who won the title last year, need a draw or better to retain their title.
Rangers, last year’s runners-up and the champions in 2020, need a win to reclaim the crown as the region’s champion.
This season, both sides have lost only one game each.
Olympic took a tumble in July when they were beaten 3-0 by Wellington Phoenix.
Rangers have not lost a league game since early April when they were beaten 3-2 at Waterside Karori.
In the reverse fixture between the sides, the match ended in a 2-2 draw on May 21 with Rangers scoring a late equaliser through Max Falconer.
Main photo: The final training session for Rangers before the all-important derby with Wellington Olympic. Source: Miramar Rangers FC Facebook.
Both clubs looking to add to their honours boards
The derby match is expected to draw a large crowd as both clubs look to add the Central League title to their honours boards.
Olympic won the Central League in 2010, 2016 and 2021.
Rangers were champions in 1997, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2020.
No matter what the result on Friday, the two sides start their National League campaigns a week later.
And to give history a chance to repeat, their fixture is scheduled to be the very last game of that competition too, with the sides due to meet at David Farrington Park on November 27.
Game to be played Friday September 23, 2022
Wellington Olympic v Miramar Rangers
Wakefield Park, Island Bay, Wellington, 7pm