21 Dec 2014

Bronze finish for Auckland City

9:54 am on 21 December 2014

Auckland City FC have won this morning's third place play-off at the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco in a penalty shootout, marking the end to a fairytale run.

Cruz Azul's forward Joao Rojas (R) is pressured by Auckland City's defender John Irving (C) and goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley during their FIFA Club World Cup third place play-off in Marrakesh.

Cruz Azul's forward Joao Rojas (R) is pressured by Auckland City's defender John Irving (C) and goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley during their FIFA Club World Cup third place play-off in Marrakesh. Photo: AFP

At full time, the team was tied one-all with the Mexican side Cruz Azul. They won the penalty shootout 4-2.

Read Radio New Zealand Sport's account of the match

The club became the first New Zealand side to reach the final four of the FIFA Club World Cup after upsetting African champions ES Setif 1-0 in the quarter-finals.

The team was guaranteed $2.5 million for making the play-off and winning the game increases that total to $3.2 million.

Auckland City FC tour leader Steve Vuksich, who is in Marrakesh, said the team was thrilled with the result.

"Pretty awesome, alright, yeah - the boys have had a fantastic couple of weeks. This has capped it off, amazing. There has been a huge amount of preparation and planning that's gone into it.

"It's definitely no fluke, you know. We've played four matches now and we got the results we got."

Mr Vuksich said the team was incredibly excited.

"The boys are going absolutely crazy. They're euphoric. This is probably the greatest night in any of the guys' football careers, without a doubt - most of them anyway," he said.

"They're on cloud nine. They're absolutely loving it. It's going to be one hell of a night tonight, that's for sure, in Marrakesh."

The final - between Spain's Real Madrid and Argentina's San Lorenzo - is underway.

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