Auckland City will be feeling a lot more confident about their chances of claiming a seventh consecutive Oceania Champions League title after seeing off Team Wellington 3-0 in the first leg of the final today.
Joao Moreira opened the scoring after a one-on-one with Wellington goalkeeper Scott Basalaj left Moreira on the ground and Basalaj with a yellow card and facing a penalty. The Portuguese striker was lucky his terrible spot kick wasn't saved, instead riccocheting in under the diving keeper's left arm.
Nine minutes later, Moreira controlled a high ball in front of goal and connected perfectly to place a shot in the bottom right corner.
Wellington lifted in the second half and enjoyed more possession but Auckland City goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai was quick to get a hand to multiple attempts from Joel Stevens, Andy Bevin and Ben Harris.
Combinations between Clayton Lewis, Moreira and Darren White kept Basalaj busy throughout the second half. Moreira again stepped up to the penalty spot in the 78th minute, this time after a foul from Guillermo Moretti, but another poor penalty halted his hat-trick hopes.
Auckland's third goal was a full team effort. Quick passes between Lewis, Moreira and Fabrizio Tavano had the Wellington backline trumped, and a tap through the defence to a charging Ryan De Vries left Basalaj with a one-on-one in the six-yard box. De Vries effortlessly placed his shot in the back of the net to make it 3-0 and give Auckland a hefty advantage going into the second leg.