Auckland City’s incredible FIFA Club World Cup podium finish
“It’s incredible,” reports FOX Football. “They’re a bunch of semi pros yet Auckland City have claimed third place at the FIFA Club World Cup, defeating Mexican side Cruz Azul 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out.
“They have a retail assistant, a shop owner and a handful of junior coaches playing for them – some of who have had to take extended leave from their day jobs to play in Morocco.
Auckland City beat the champions of Morocco, the champions of Africa and the champions of North and Central America, losing only to the champions of South America in a pulsating semi-final.
The team pulled off three upsets in just under two weeks and becoming the first Oceania team to win a medal at the tournament.
Commentary from New Zealand was appropriately rapturous. Michael Burgess from the New Zealand Herald wrote: “The scale of Auckland City’s achievements are becoming almost impossible to describe. It’s hard to keep finding new superlatives to sum up what Auckland City have done in Morocco over the last 12 days, and each new match has become compulsive viewing. How on earth have they ended up in third place at the Club World Cup? It’s a truly staggering accomplishment, one we may never see the like of again.”
Fred Woodcock from stuff.co.nz wrote “Not bad for the best the ASB Premiership had to offer, a bunch of part-timers who came together to produce easily the best performance from a New Zealand club team on the world stage. It’s unlikely that this group of part-timers will ever forget the two weeks in which they turned the football world on its head.”