8 May 2012

Auckland City lay down A-league challenge

9:45 am on 8 May 2012

Top New Zealand club Auckland City has thrown out a challenge for an annual clash against the top team in the A-League after winning an international award at the World Football Gala.

Auckland City was voted Oceania's club of the first decade of the 21st century after a string of successes including an unbeaten run during the last season in New Zealand's premier league.

The club, who were undefeated in the New Zealand competition last season, had indicated their ability with a pre-season 3-1 win over A-League front runners Central Coast Mariners.

Among other awards on the night, Dutchman Ruud van Nistelrooy was the World Goalgetter of the First Decade, Markus Merk of Germany the best referee, Arsenal's Arsene Wenger the best coach and the top clubs were Riyadh (Asia), Boca Juniors (South America) and Barcelona (Europe).