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Re-energised Auckland Ready For Action

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 15 NZPA - Auckland City will need to restore energy levels before facing African champions TP Mazembe in a playoff for fifth place at soccer's Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi early on Thursday morning (NZT).

After a ground-breaking but physically draining 2-0 upset win over UAE host club Al Ahli last Thursday, the Oceania champions lost 0-3 to North and Central American champions Atlante from Mexico just three days later.

Auckland goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley says overcoming tired legs will be a case of mind, and preparation, over matter.

"Having played two games in a short amount of time the team is feeling jaded," Spoonley said. "But there's a sense of resolution to match the fatigue, especially with the knowledge we've gained about TP Mazembe the African champions."

A day off from training combined with some sightseeing has gone a long way to physically and mentally refreshing the Aucklanders and captain Ivan Vicelich said the team's sights have now been firmly reset.

"We've been focusing on this final match ever since the referee blew for full time in the last one," Vicelich said.

"I'm expecting Mazembe to be tough opponents and we'll have to put in a good performance if we want to beat the African champs. We will be preparing intensively for the match, and once it's under way we'll give 100 per cent and hopefully manage our second win here in Abu Dhabi."


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