16 Mar 2009

Manawatu upset Auckland in NZFC

6:12 am on 16 March 2009

Manawatu will take a two-goal cushion to Auckland next Sunday after a thrilling 3-1 win over Auckland City in the first leg of their New Zealand Football Championship semi-final in Palmerston North yesterday.

They'll be without influential midfielder Raf de Gregorio and striker Gustavo Saralegui for the return leg however; as both were sent off for second bookings as Manawatu played a gutsy final 35 minutes with just nine men.

Waitakere will also take a valuable away goal home to Auckland in the second leg of their semi-final next Saturday, but unlike their neighbours they also have the lead after a tense 1-nil win over Team Wellington at Newtown Park on Saturday evening.