Auckland City have progressed to the grand final of the Stirling Sports Premiership, after a tough 1-0 win over Hawke's Bay on Saturday.
The score wasn't an accurate reflection of the match, with the Auckland side profligate with their finishing, though the visitors defended stoutly.
The minor premiers, chasing their seventh national crown, completely dominated possession and territory - as they tend to do - but were frustrated until the midway through the second half.
Their goal was worth waiting for though, with Ryan De Vries conjuring up a wonderful piece of skill to set up Micah Lea'alafa in the 65th minute. The former All Whites striker has been out of touch this season but produced an exquisite Cryuff turn on the edge of the area, when seemingly trapped by two defenders, before sliding through to Solomon Islands forward, who finished with aplomb.
The duo looked to have combined again in the 81st minute, but Lea'alafa's effort was ruled out for offside.
The Auckland side had earlier spurned glorious chances, with Emiliano Tade hitting the post with what should have been a regulation finish and Darren White blasting into the Sandringham sky from eight yards.
Hawke's Bay, who were looking for just their second win in eight domestic knockout games, were hampered by the dismissal of Cory Chettleburgh in the 75th minute, but fought gamely until the end.
Team Wellington host Waitakere United in the second semi-final on Sunday, with the West Aucklanders looking to avenge a 7-2 humiliation on their last visit to the capital in February.
Auckland City 1 (M Lea'alafa 65)
Hawke's Bay United 0