Auckland City have continued their recent Super City dominance, edging bitter rivals Waitakere United 2-0 at Kiwitea Street.
The home side created a number of chances but didn't seal the game until the 90th minute, when Darren White completed a simple tap in.
Chris Bale opened the scoring in the 31st minute while Adam Dickinson missed first half penalty. Waitakere - who were unlucky not to get a late penalty of their own with the score still at 1-0 - battled well but lacked a cutting edge up front.
In near perfect conditions at Kiwitea Street (aside from a strong wind) this was a typical Super City battle.
The home side dominated the first half, though Waitakere United looked dangerous on the break.
After early chances to new Spanish import Cristobal Marquez and Ryan De Vries (who shifted across the Super City during the off season), Bale opened the scoring in the 31st minute.
Bale had been denied a minute earlier by a brilliant save from Danny Robinson but when he picked up the ball in the next sequence crashed home a fantastic shot from the edge the area, giving Robinson no chance at his near post.
It was a deserved lead for the home side, who fly to Europe on Monday for their tilt at the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco.
The game was played in good spirits though flashed to life in the 52nd minute when Auckland City were awarded what looked a generous penalty, after Tim Myers was adjudged to have brought down De Vries. After a sustained delay (as De Vries got treatment) striker Adam Dickinson failed to convert the spot kick, Robinson saving well to his right.
Waitakere seemed to lift after that incident but the best chances still fell to the home side, with Bale hitting the crossbar in the 58th minute and Robinson (who was the standout performer) denying Daniel Koprovic soon afterwards. Substitute EmilianoTade missed a gilt edged opportunity in the 78th minute before White sealed the points, tapping home a rebound after Robinson had saved from Tade.
Auckland City 2 (C. Bale, D. White)
Waitakere United 0