Hamilton Wanderers on Sunday broke a four-season duck against Auckland City FC after two Derek Tieku goals secured their first win over the league's most successful team.
It was a weekend in which the Waikato's national league representatives all fared well across both futsal and football, as the Waikato Rapids narrowly missed out on winning the men's Super League for a second successive time, while WaiBOP's NWL narrowly lost 1-0 to Capital Football.
It was Wanderers who were the winners of the weekend, with one of their best performances to date in the ISPS Handa Premiership. Derek Tieku featured twice on the scorecard, with his teammates Mark Jones and Joe Harris playing crucial roles in Tieku's goals.
Harris was the player behind the first goal, as his perfectly struck free kick cannoned off the left-hand post and fell nicely for Tieku to head home into an empty net in the 30th minute.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Wanderers had started slowly, with Auckland dominating much of possession in the opening 30 minutes, but the goal put the wind in the Blues' sails and it didn't take much longer for them to grab a second.
Mark Jones picked up on a sloppy piece of possession by Auckland City and made good headway down the left wing. He beat his man in the box and slid the ball across perfectly for Tieku to again tap home.
It was enough for Hamilton Wanderers, as Auckland City FC were unable to mount a comeback in the second half. The win puts Wanderers at the top of the table after two games.
In the futsal, the Waikato Rapids came very close to repeating their championship heroics of last season, falling short at the final hurdle against Auckland City. Despite the loss, the side proved to be one of the trickiest to beat, with Jonathan Tobias also picking up his 86th cap.
In the National Women's League, WaiBOP will be annoyed they could not finish some of the chances against Capital Football, who had an in-form Georgia Candy in goal.
It was her performance that kept WaiBOP at bay and allowed Capital to take the lead through Kaley Ward with just 15 minutes remaining.