Auckland City will wonder what might have been.
They are out of the Fifa Club World Cup – after a 1-0 loss to UAE champions Al Jazira this morning NZT in Abu Dhabi – but it's hard to understand how.
They created a heap of chances – easily the most they have in any Club World Cup match in their history – but couldn't find the net.
The best opportunity fell to Ryan De Vries, who prodded a tame effort straight at the goalkeeper, when it looked easier to score.
The match was decided by a 38th wonder goal from Al Jazira's Brazillian midfielder Romarinho – who lashed home from 25 metres.
From there the Al Jazira side were content to sit on their lead, soaking up constant pressure from the Oceania champions.
Auckland had some great opportunities, especially to Cameron Howieson and De Vries, but couldn't find that moment of quality to get back into the match.
De Vries' miss from point blank range in the 75th minute, poking his first time shot from six yards straight at goalkeeper Ali Khaseif, was tough to take. The Al Jazira goalkeeper was the standout player of the match, also making a superb second half save from a long range Cameron Howieson shot, which looked headed for the net.
Teenager Callum McCowatt directed his shot straight at the goalkeeper in the first half, while De Vries got the ball caught under his feet when free in the box early in the second half
It was a shame, in what was an otherwise excellent display from the New Zealand side.
Auckland City were up for the contest, and looked well equipped for another fairytale run in the Club World Cup.
They were defensively sound, with the UAE barely creating a dangerous opportunity, aside from their goal. Auckland City were typically tidy in possession, and looked more and more threatening as the match went on.
But Al Jazira defended doggedly, while Auckland couldn't find that moment of real quality to make the difference.
Coach Ramon Tribulietx will have mixed feelings after the match. He will be satisfied with most elements of his team's display, but disappointed with the goal they conceded. While it was a beautifully hit shot by Romarinho – who has played more than 150 games for Corinthians – it was a lapse in concentration from Auckland City, who failed to track his run and left him free in a dangerous area.
Al Jazira 1 (Romarinho)
Auckland City 0