Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs. Auckland City  1 - 0

Article

FIFA Club World Cup: Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1 Auckland City 0

6 December 2012 14:45

J. League champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima have reached the Club World Cup quarter-finals after a 1-0 victory over Auckland City.

Sanfrecce started the game, brightly crafting out numerous chances, with Auckland City goalkeeper Tamati Williams making several saves in the first half.

Williams was first called into action in the seventh minute, when Hisato Sato hit a powerful shot from distance.

The goalkeeper then had to be alert in the 18th minute to palm away Koji Morisaki's effort after Yojiro Takahagi struck the woodwork with his corner.

Auckland City centre-back Takuya Wata then nearly scored an own-goal in the 28th minute when he tried to cut out a cross, and his clearance was almost diverted in before Williams reacted quickly to keep the ball out.

After the break, Sanfrecce Hiroshima continued to threaten, with Takahagi hitting the woodwork yet again.

The Auckland City custodian was also in an uncompromising mood, as Williams made a diving save to deny Sato's header, and recovered to keep out Morisaki's point-blank attempt.

However, in the 66th minute, there was nothing Williams could do about Toshihiro Aoyama's shot, as the midfielder was allowed time and space to thunder an effort into the top corner to give Sanfrecce a deserving lead.

Auckland City tried to come back into the game but they failed to maintain possession, while Sanfrecce were always looking more likely to score.

The New Zealand representatives finally managed to carve out a decent opportunity when substitute Emiliano Tade was put through down the left, but his shot from a tight angle was tame and easily gathered by Takuya Masuda.

The Japanese side almost doubled their lead in the 85th minute, and were in disbelief after hitting the woodwork for the third time through Ryota Moriwaki's scorcher from the edge of the box.

Auckland City so nearly found their equaliser in injury time but Adam Dickinson hit his shot just over the bar to leave see the New Zealanders crash out at the same stage for the second consecutive year.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima will now face Al Ahly in the quarter-finals.

Article

Pritchett relishing Club World Cup test

2 December 2012 20:02

Auckland City defender James Pritchett says he is relishing the prospect of facing Sanfrecce Hiroshima in a Club World Cup playoff on Thursday.

The Kiwi side qualified for the competition after overcoming Tahiti's AS Tefana, and Pritchett is looking forward to a possible rematch against Al-Ahly in the quarter-finals.

Talking to FIFA.com Pritchett said: "I played Al-Ahly six years ago and what I remember about that game is how good (Mohamed) Aboutrika was. He scored from a free-kick in the second half and was everywhere."

The defender is refusing to get too carried away, however, with Japanese opposition standing in their way.

"Our focus is very much on the game in front of us, and that is against Sanfrecce Hiroshima," Pritchett said.

"After only having a 14-game domestic season, and with the Oceania Champions League being rescheduled, we will have to try and overcome (having such a short season) on the international stage."

Auckland failed to make it to the quarter-final stage last year after bowing out in the playoffs.

J1 League table

# Team MP D P
6 20 +1 31
7 20 +8 30
8 20 +1 30
9 20 +3 29
10 20 +0 28

Premiership table

# Team MP D P
1 14 +28 33
2 14 +12 26
3 14 +1 26
4 14 +11 23
5 14 +6 22