Can Auckland City achieve another Club World Cup fairytale?

They are significant underdogs for their Fifa Club World Cup clash with UAE champions Al Jazira in Al Ain on Thursday morning (NZT), but have upset the odds before.

On the eve of Auckland City's big clash, we look back at some memorable moments from New Zealand's participation at the Club World Cup.

7. Daewook Kim's goal, Auckland City vs Kashima Antlers, 2016


Since the Fifa Club World Cup was relaunched in its current format in 2005, no team from Oceania had ever managed a goal against a J-League team.

Auckland City had faced the J-League champions on three previous occasions — and they had all been close contests — but Auckland had never found the net.

That changed with Kim's aerobic leap to meet Emiliano Tade's pin point cross in the 50th minute, which took the Oceania champions into a shock lead.

Kashima responded with a 67th minute equaliser, but grabbing the winner two minutes from fulltime, but Auckland City — and Kim — had made their mark again.

6. Paul Seaman's goal, Waitakere United vs Adelaide United, 2008

It wasn't the most beautiful strike — with Seaman being the first to react to a goal keeping error — but his quick reaction gave Waitakere United the lead against Adelaide United.

It was only the second time in four games a New Zealand side been on the scoreboard at the Club World Cup, and the only previous goal was an own goal by Iranian opponents Sepahan in 2007.

But Waitakere's lead only lasted five minutes and Adelaide went on to win 2-1.

5. Sanni Issa penalty, Auckland City vs Moghreb Teutoen, 2014

After no goals across 120 minutes of football, the shootout score was locked at 3-3 when Sanni Issa strode forward to take Auckland City's fifth penalty against Moroccan champions Moghreb Tétouan.

Wearing boots that were a size too big, and with 35,000 local supporters baying for blood and some using laser pointers to distract the Auckland players, Issa had every right to feel the pressure.

But the Nigerian, who had only joined Auckland City a few weeks earlier, calmly slotted his penalty into the top left corner.

That put the onus back on Tetouan and they struck the post with their next spot kick, handing victory to the Oceania team.

4. Chad Coombes thunderbolt, Auckland City vs Al Ahli, 2009

Playing against UAE champions Al Ahli, Adam Dickinson's goal just before half time had given Auckland City a vital 1-0 lead.

Both sides had further opportunities before a special strike from Coombes sealed the result.

After receiving a cut back nearly 20 metres from goal, the one cap All White unleashed a left foot drive that flew into the Al Ahli net.

There was still almost half an hour to play but no way back for the hosts, as Paul Posa's side achieved the first win by a New Zealand team at a Club World Cup.

3. John Irving's vital goal, Auckland City vs ES Setif, 2014

Auckland City celebrate a goal from John Irving, the greatest player to ever play for Ngaruawahia United. Photo / Getty
Auckland City celebrate a goal from John Irving, the greatest player to ever play for Ngaruawahia United. Photo / Getty

Along with captain Ivan Vicelich, former Everton junior John Irving was a standout for Auckland City at the 2014 tournament.

He was the defensive rock at the back, countering almost every threat with his pace and anticipation as the Oceania team went 257 minutes without conceding a goal.

But his finest moment came on attack, with a goal of real quality that booked Auckland City's place in the final four.

From an attacking corner, the ball fell to Irving on the edge of the area.

He eluded his marker with a clever feint, before driving a low shot past the Setif goal keeper.

2. Riki van Steeden's moment, Auckland City vs TP Mazembe, 2009

Auckland City had created history by advancing beyond the first match and later faced African champions TP Mazembe in the playoff for fifth place.

With the scored locked at 2-2 after 90 minutes and the game drifting towards extra time, Auckland City launched a final counter attack.

After an attack down the left flank, Dan Morgan found substitute Riki van Steeden, who had been on the field for less than 20 minutes.

Van Steeden hit a first time shot from the edge of the area that eluded the Mazembe keeper at his near post to cue a massive celebration — and unprecedented pay day — for the Auckland club.

1. Angel Berlanga's goal, Auckland City vs San Lorenzo 2014

Auckland City had competed well against South American champions San Lorenzo, before conceding a goal right on halftime.

It could have been a fatal blow against the Copa Libertadores champions, but Auckland City conjured an impressive equaliser in the 67th minute.

Emiliano Tade unlocked the Argentine defence with a pinpoint through ball which eluded Ryan De Vries but rolled on to fullback Berlanga.

From a near-impossible angle Berlanga found the net to bring Auckland level.

Around 10 minutes later Tade had his own chance - with just the keeper to beat - to take the ISPS Handa team into a final against Real Madrid.

However he miscued his shot wide of the target and San Lorenzo clinched the match in extra time.