BY ROMULUS HUTA
SOLOMON Islands attacking midfielder Micah Lea’alafa continues to maintain his name on the scoresheet for the New Zealand champions Auckland City in the domestic ISPS Handa Premiership.
On Sunday he scored again in City’s 3-0 thrashing of Hawke’s Bay United in Napier.
After an early goal by his teammate Alfie Rogers, Micah added the second in the 29th minute to set the Navy Blues on their way towards victory inside the first half hour before youngster Callum McCowatt chimed in with a third just after the restart.
During the previous three weekends, Micah also scored for Auckland. His latest goal on Sunday gets him to four goals in the race for the golden boot.
Speaking to SunSPORTS from Auckland, Micah said he was excited to continue with his scoring form in the New Zealand’s top flight league.
“I hope to score more goals and it feels great to win matches and be part of a great team.”
Coach Ramon Tribulietx was delighted with the result.
“We are pleased with a 3-0 win, especially with the way we played as we dominated from start to finish,” said Tribulietx after the game.
“It is another game where we have finished with another clean sheet which is great because we are not giving the opposition opportunities to score.”
The cleansheet was Auckland City FC’s fifth in succession and gives goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai the distinction of having kept the ball out of his net for a staggering 470 minutes.
The last player to score past Zubikarai was Southern United’s Ben Wade who bagged a 70th goal in their 1-1 draw with Auckland City FC on 13 January 2018 at Kiwitea Street.
The last team to keep five consecutive cleansheets in the ISPS Handa Premiership was the Waitakere United side of 2007-08 who defeated Hawke’s Bay United (5-0 and 1-0), Waikato FC (1-0), Canterbury United (1-0) and Auckland City FC (1-0) en route to the minor and grand final titles.
Auckland City FC has now conceded just three goals in its last seven ISPS Handa Premiership matches.
The win keeps Auckland City FC one point ahead of Team Wellington who defeated Southern United 3-1 in Dunedin and two in front of Eastern Suburbs AFC who turned over Tasman United 3-0 in rainswept conditions at Bill McKinlay Park.
Canterbury United’s push for the top four continued after they staged a come-from-behind 5-3 win over Wellington Phoenix to open up a six point gap between themselves and Tasman United.
The Navy Blues next match is away to Tasman United on 17 February in Nelson at 2pm before they play host to the Oceania Champions League Group C competition in Auckland from February 24.