Match could be vital in chase for national title

Wanderers midfielder Hiroki Toyokawa playing against Waitakere United. Photo – Grant Stantiall.

Sunday’s big football match in Cambridge will play a significant part in deciding which teams stay in the race to become New Zealand’s champion club side. Hamilton Wanderers will play Auckland’s Eastern Suburbs at John Kerkhof Park, kicking off at 2pm on Sunday. The match is part of the ISPS Handa Premiership, the highest level of domestic football in New Zealand.

Last weekend’s results leave Wanderers and Suburbs in 3rd and 4th positions on the table, meaning the winner of Sunday’s match will keep within reach of Team Wellington and Auckland City who lead the competition.

Wanderers beat Hawkes Bay 2-0 in Napier, with Papua New Guinea international Tommy Semmy scoring his third goal of the season. Suburbs lost 1-0 to Auckland City with All Whites striker Andre de Jong missing a penalty for Suburbs and fellow international Tim Payne going close with a disallowed goal. Both teams will be led out in Cambridge by All White greats. Wanderers are coached by Cambridge’s Ricki Herbert, the former All White player and coach, while Suburbs are coached by New Zealand international Danny Hay.

The match is the only opportunity for local fans to see national league football at Cambridge this summer as Wanderers usually play their home fixtures at Hamilton’s Porritt Stadium. Wanderers asked Cambridge FC to host Sunday’s game to encourage Waipa-based supporters to check out their national league side.

At 11am, Wanderers will play Suburbs in the U-19 National Youth League. The game will feature two Cambridge FC players, Josh Clarkin and Jack Portegys, who are playing their summer football for the Hamilton side.

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