Benjamin Totori scored famous victory for YoungHeart Manawatu in New Zealand
Totori's 68th minute goal maintained Manawatu's perfect start to the season on Saturday and condemned winless Auckland to their first NZFC loss in seven matches stretching back to round 18 last season. Last week, Auckland City managed a scrappy 2-2 draw with Otago United.
Now the FIFA Club World Cup-bound Aucklanders find themselves five points off the pace after just two rounds, a worrying situation as they prepare to host Hawke’s Bay United in the second leg of their Labour weekend double-header today.
Totori sealed the points at FMG Stadium in Palmerston North with a low 18-yard drive that eluded Auckland goalkeeper Richard Gillespie diving away to his right. It was the Solomon Islander’s second goal in as many games after Manawatu, whose place in the NZFC beyond this summer is in doubt, opened their campaign with a 2-1 win at Team Wellington in round one last week.
Auckland City's Keryn Jordan and Grant Young have missed two clear penalty kicks within the playing time, enabling Manawatu to maintain the second spot after Waitakere based on goal differences.