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Auckland Bow Out With 0-3 Loss To Atlante

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 13 NZPA - Auckland City will play off for fifth place at the Club World Cup soccer tournament after losing 0-3 to CONCACAF champions Atlante in Abu Dhabi this morning (NZtime).

A fluffed clearance by Adam McGeorge, in an otherwise organised first half defence by Auckland, allowed Atlante defender Daniel Arreola to fire the opening goal in from close range with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

Auckland showed more attacking intent after the break but the next goal eventually came when Christian Bermudez started and finished a crisp move with Rafael Marquez before slotting the ball under Jacob Spoonley in the 35th minute.

Brazilian Lucas Silva added a third as a tired Auckland side stretched out in search of a goal.

The Oceania Champions will face African champions TP Mazemba from the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday morning in a playoff for fifth place. Atlante will play Barcelona hours in one semifinal.

Asian champions Pohang Steelers from the Korea Republic, who defeated Mazembe 2-1 on Saturday, meet Club Estudiantes from Argentina in the other semi final.

From the start Auckland defended in numbers and were content to allow Atlante to play in front of them.

The possession stakes heavily favoured the Mexicans but a disciplined Auckland defence stood firm throughout the first half and restricted their more fancied opposition to predominately half chances.

Fullbacks Ian Hogg and Chad Coombes had impressive games alongside centrebacks Greg Uhlmann and captain Ivan Vicelich.

Auckland could only muster two shots on goal in the first half, both from Ki-Hyung Lee.

After the break Auckland were quickly on the front foot. Argentinean goalkeeper Vilar was at his best to beat out a fierce drive by Coombes.

Atlante made Auckland pay for missed opportunities when Bermudez extended their lead in the 69th minute.

With Auckland tiring, Spoonley had to block shots from Silva and Guillermo Rojas.

Silva was finally rewarded for a busy game when he scored Atlante's third goal in time added on.

Scores: Auckland City 0 Atlante 3 (Daniel Arreola, Christian Bermudez, Lucas Silva).

NZPA WGT pm

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