Auckland City go down in opener

Auckland City go down in opener

Al Jazira midfielder Mbark Boussoufa has called for his side to remain fully focused on Saturday's Fifa Club World Cup quarter-final against Urawa Red Diamonds - even with a potential clash against Real Madrid on the horizon. We have played three times against teams from this part of the world in the past and so we understand the style of football we're up against.

Morocco's Wydad Athletic Club and host club Al Jazira will hope to become the latest African and Asian sides to reach the final on their debuts. The key statistics have never been in their favour like that at this tournament.

Auckland City was formed in 2004 out of Central United when a new national league system was created in New Zealand.

Striker Ali Mabkhout ran at the Navy Blues for the first time and looked to be closed down by defender Angel Berlanga. There was promising moments but not enough to trouble Auckland City keeper Enaut Zubikarai. Speaking personally, I'm not thinking about Real Madrid because I know the next game we have to be at our best, best, best to beat this team.

"Like I said, it's something new for us and we know the Japanese team is going to be a very hard game".

Young forward Callum McCowatt had the first of them after 30 minutes when he combined nicely with Ryan de Vries to find space in the box but his shot was comfortably saved.

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Bilen's injury will be closely monitored by Auckland City FC medical staff but he could be available should the Oceania champions advance in the competition which would pose a healthy selection dilemma for Tribulietx who has plenty to choose from in midfield with Albert Riera, Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, Cam Howieson, Reid Drake and Fabrizio Tavano all capable of starting the match.

They may have been facing a stronger opponent than the ones they usually find at home, but the trio's creative interplay was still clear to see, and at the heart of a lot of City's good work.

But the best chance of the night came with 15 minutes to play.

There were several other half chances, but City didn't take any of them.

City have been in prolific form domestically, winning 5-0, 4-0, and 6-0 in recent weeks, and they would have happily sacrificed a few of those goals for one here.

Al Jazira coach Henk ten Cate summed it up the best, talking about the team his side had somehow beaten.

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