One of New Zealand football’s longest unbeaten streaks has ended for national champions Auckland City who have lost at their Kiwitea Street home for the first time in seven years.
Their 3-1 Men’s National League loss to Wellington Olympic in Round 8 was the Navy Blues first at the Sandringham ground since October 16, 2016.
It also meant rivals Wellington Olympic claimed the Mediterranean Cup, a trophy played for between the two clubs to acknowledge their Croatian and Greek roots.
Main photo: Olympic’s Gianni Bouzoukis (left) receives the Mediterranean Cup from sports broadcaster Dennis Kotsanos. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
The win by Olympic ended a streak of five losses and a draw in games played against City over the past two years.
They meet next in the Grand Final of this year’s Men’s National League at Auckland’s Go Media Stadium Mt Smart on Sunday November 26, 2023.
It’s a repeat of last year’s final, won by City.
In Sunday’s game, the Wellington visitors took a 2-0 lead through two own goals before striker Gianni Bouzoukis scored his eighth goal of the season, maintaining his lead in the competition’s Golden Boot.
Futsal Whites captain Dylan Manickum scored for City in stoppage time.
The last time Auckland City lost at Kiwitea Street was in the opening match of the 2016-17 Stirling Sports Premiership when they were beaten 1-0 by the Chris Milicich-coached Waitakere United.
The goalscorer was Harrison Nash who headed the winner four minutes into the match.
Highlights and reaction
Auckland City head coach Albert Riera said he thought his team played well but did not take their chances.
Auckland City 1 (Dylan Manickum 79′)
Wellington Olympic 3 (own goals 64′, 74′, Gianni Bouzoukis 89)
Men’s Grand Final
Game to be played on Sunday November 26, 2023
Auckland City v Wellington Olympic
Go Media Stadium Mt Smart, Auckland, 1pm
Book your tickets
Grand final tickets are $10pp but free to NZF’s Football Whānau.
By subscribing to NZF’s Football Whānau mailing list, you will receive news and offers, such as the promotion code enabling you to access your complimentary tickets to the Grand Finals.