24 Mar 2019

Wellington topple Auckland City in premiership semi

5:41 pm on 24 March 2019

Team Wellington have upset defending champions Auckland City 3-1 to earn a spot in next weekend's national football premiership final against Eastern Suburbs.

Jack-Henry Sinclair

Jack-Henry Sinclair Photo: Photosport

Auckland City, who completed a almost-perfect season with 17 wins and a draw, came into the semi-final as favourites but were upset by their old foes on their home turf at Kiwitea Street.

Angus Killkolly and Jack-Henry Sinclair scored either side of half-time for the visitors before Auckland City captain Angel Berlanga got them within striking distance with 20 minutes to play.

Team Wellington scored in injury time through substitute Joel Stevens to secure a historic win.

Sinclair said it was a great performance from Team Wellington as they kept alive their hopes of winning the premiership title, and also of qualifying for the OFC Champions League.

"It was a great battle out there, it is not the end obviously with the final next week, but I am really proud of the boys," Sinclair said.

"We defended well in the first 20 and weathered the storm a bit, they had more possession than what we did, but we stuck to our game plan and came out with the win in the end."

Auckland City captain Berlanga, a stand-out for the Navy Blues in defence, was gracious in defeat.

"They were the better team today and put their chances away," he said.

"We dominated the game but they defended really well and put us under a lot of pressure. They could find the final pass and we couldn't today."

They'll meet Eastern Suburbs in next Sunday's final after the Aucklanders earned their first shot at a national league title in nearly five decades when they beat Canterbury United 1-0 in yesterday's semi-final.