Soccer: O-League carrot dangles for Waitakere, Wellington

Waitakere will face Wellington in the Grand Final of the ASB Premiership on Saturday night. Photo / Getty Images
Waitakere will face Wellington in the Grand Final of the ASB Premiership on Saturday night. Photo / Getty Images

Waitakere United have a chance to lift their third consecutive title and their fourth overall when they meet Team Wellington in football's ASB Premiership grand final in Auckland on Saturday night.

Waitakere, who line up for their fourth grand final in five seasons, would cement their place as undisputed kings of New Zealand domestic football with a third straight title victory, their fourth in eight seasons overall.

A win at The Trusts Stadium would also see the West Auckland outfit return to the O-League next season and earn another shot at qualification for the Fifa club World Cup in Morocco next year.

Meanwhile, Team Wellington are chasing a treble dream all their own.

Coach Matt Calcott snared the club's first ever silverware when the capital men swept aside Waikato FC to win the inaugural White Ribbon Cup.

But victory in Saturday's showpiece final would not only hand Wellington their first ever national title, it would see the club become the first non-Auckland side to become champions and lift them into next season's O-League competition.

Waitakere have stuttered throughout a turbulent season but have hit form at the right time with Roy Krishna and Ryan de Vries in a ruthless mood during the 5-3 aggregate win over Canterbury United in the semifinals, which is an indication that their own big-game players are ready to fire at the business end of the season.

Team Wellington opened the season with just one win from their first five games but since then they have successfully navigated the remainder of their campaign with just one defeat - a 3-1 loss to Waitakere in Round 12 of the regular season.

Last week's 3-1 win over Auckland City ensures Wellington enter this grand final brimming with confidence and they won't lack any motivation in trying to wrestle the crown back to the capital, and end an Auckland City-Waitakere United stranglehold that has lasted eight years.

Waitakere United and Team Wellington last met in an national league grand final at Trusts Stadium in Henderson in 2008 with the West Aucklanders winning 2-0.

An own goal by Wellington's Karl Whalen and a strike by Allan Pearce were enough to hand Waitakere its first title that day and broke Auckland City's three-in-a-row championship sequence.

- APNZ

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