A late goal by midfielder Gerard Garriga has secured a 1-1 draw for Auckland City in their warm-up game against Al Dhaid in Dubai.
The match against the United Arab Emirates first division side was the first of two games planned by Auckland City to prepare for the FIFA Club World Cup which starts in Saudi Arabia on December 13.
Main photo: Gerard Garriga … stoppage time goal for the Navy Blues. File photo: Andrew Skinner / Phototek.
A match report from Auckland City Media said Al Dhaid took the lead at the Al Hamriyah Cultural Sports Club through Salem Musabah in the 88th minute.
Almost immediately, City responded when Garriga put the ball in the net from an Emiliano Tade corner, only for his effort to be disallowed.
Three minutes into stoppage time, Garriga had the ball in the net again, when he shot low and past the ‘keeper, and it counted.
Head coach Albert Riera gave game time to all his squad, with the exception of goalkeeper Sebastian Ciganda, providing a return to the Navy Blues for Alfie Rogers and a debut to Vanuatu international defender Tom Boulet.
On Wednesday December 6, they’ll play another first division club, United Sport FC, before leaving Dubai for Saudi Arabia the next day.
A week later, Auckland City play the opening game at the FIFA Club World Cup in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Game played on Friday December 1, 2023 (NZT)
Al Dhaid 1 (Salem Musabah 88′)
Auckland City 1 (Gerard Garriga 90+3′)
FIFA Club World Cup
Game to be played on Wednesday December 13 (NZT)
Al-Ittihad v Auckland City
King Abdulah Sports City Stadium, 7am (NZT)