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Canterbury United

Auckland City


NZFC - Catch Up Round,
English Park, Christchurch
Sunday 21 March 2010


Aaron Clapham 43

Jason Hayne 45,

Daniel Koprivcic 78,

Paul Urlovic 86



Halftime: 1 - 1                      Referee: Matt Conger                               Crowd: 565


Character shines through as Auckland bounce back

by Gavin Searle at English Park

Courage, character and determination were in abundance as Auckland City wrapped up the NZFC minor premiership for the third time in six season after overcoming a determined Canterbury United 3-1 at English Park.

The result means that the two sides will now meet in one of the home and away semi-finals which commence in a fortnight's time with Waitakere United and Team Wellington clashing in the other knock-out match.

Canterbury elected to start the game without three of their regular first choice players, Matt Boyd, Tom Lancaster and Russell Kamo with the trio all sitting on three yellows cards and possible suspension.

The game was an even affair early on but became actioned packed in the final minutes before the break which saw a red card and a goal for both sides.

New All White Chad Coombes was at the centre of the action for all the wrong reasons when he was shown a second yellow card by referee Matt Conger for a foul on front of the Auckland goal.

Aaron Clapham showed his class when he fired home an unstoppable shot from the resultant free-kick but the joy of the home fans had hardly died down when Jason Hayne equalised right on the stroke of half time.

Auckland who are trying to become the first side in NZFC history to complete their league programme unbeaten clearly lifted after the break and tested the Canterbury defence which still at times miss the influence of injured skipper Dan Terris.

But the Dragons were not without their chances with both goalkeepers in top form - Tom Batty for the home side and Jacob Spoonley for Auckland - both having outstanding games.

In the end two mistakes counted against Canterbury. The first occured when they lost the ball in midfield and allowed Daniel Koprivcic to score on 77 minutes.

In the final minutes Korpvicic's replacement Paul Urlovic, who had just come on as a substitute, slotted home Auckland City's third goal with his first touch on the ball.

Canterbury United coach Keith Braithwaite gave an analytical appraisal of his team's performance.

"For an hour we did really well but we let them off the hook a couple of times. But all credit to Auckland they got the chances and put them away", said Braithwaite after the game.

"We will give them a game in the semi finals, they are a very good side, they have just won the minor premiership but we believe that they can be beaten," Briathwaite added.

By contrast, Paul Posa was understandably pleased with his Auckland charges who extended their unbeaten domestic run to fifteen matches stretching back to last season.

"Getting the goal before half time was important.

It was such a simple goal and I asked the team at half time 'what was so difficult about that?'.

I knew if we were patient chances would still come.

I said we had to go out and show character to the fans have travelled south to watch us and I was pleased they showed that," Posa said.

Canterbury United play Auckland City in the NZFC semi-final first leg on 4 April at English Park.

The second leg is scheduled for 11 April at Kiwitea Street.

The winner over two legs will advance to the NZFC Grand Final on April 25, 2010.


Team Sheet

Canterbury United


Auckland City


18. Tom Batty (gk)

1. Jacob Spoonley

4. Gareth Rowe (capt)

5. Matt Williams

7. Aaron Clapham

6. Ki Hyung Lee

12. Nick Wortelboer

7. James Pritchett out 60

13. Hue Frame

8. Chad Coombes

15. Paul Dirou out 70

11. Daniel Koprivcic out 85

16. Daniel Burns

13. Alex Feneridis

17. Glen Collins

15. Ivan Vicelich (capt)

19. Darren Overton

16. Jason Hayne

20. Dominoc McGarr

20. Greg Uhlmann

23. Jordan Swaney out 85

22. Adam Dickinson out 72



1. Jordon Buchanan

4. Sam Campbell in 60

5. Matt Boyd

9. Paul Urlovic in 85

9. Russell Kamo

17. Adam McGeorge in 72

11. Tom Lancaster in 85

18. Paul Gothard

21 Ben Harris in 70

25. Milos Nikolic


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card


Play by Play

Welcome to English Park were conditions are clear but overcast

1 min

Auckland kicks off to get play under way

2 min

Canty has first attacking move via Aaron Clapman but comes to nothing

6 min

Play mostly in the middle of the park so far

8 min

Jacob Spoonley out quickly to cover a run by Nick Worteloer

10 min

Chad Coombes blasts 35 metre shot hight over goal bar

11 min

Good Canty build up see Hue Frame lay ball back to Clapman you cross from edge of area goes wide

15 min

Jason Hayne in the clear but pulled back for being offside

20 min

A free flowing game so far with both side evenly matched at the moment

23 min

Hayne cross cleared by Canty defence

27 min

Canty awarded free kick to left of goal 25 minutes out, Clapham good ball in which Spoonley has the punch clear

32 min

Spooney down smartly to cut out a cross from Clapman

36 min

Caution: Daniel Burns into the book for trying to crib a few mtre at at throw in over several tackles went unpunished

38 min

Clapham drills in another fre-kick which Spooney again punches clear

40 min

Auckland corner half clear back across goal and bounces around before Wortelboer clears off line 

43 min

RED CARD: Chad Coombes received a redcard for a tackle in front of goal and then test referee as slowly walks off ball stopping to take off shin pads

43 min

GOAL; 1 - 0 from result freekick Clapham scores directly

45 min

GOAL: 1 - 1 Canty gives ball away and Jason Hayne equalishes

HT 1 - 1 all even at the break which on the run of play is fair but Canterbury will be kicking themselves for given away a soft goal just before the break 

Just checked and Coombes had already received a caution in the game so was sent off for receiving a 2nd yellow card

46 min

Play back underway

47 min

Early chance to Auckland but Adam Dickinson shots softly straight to Batty

49 min

Auckland have lifted the tempo of their play and a good run and cross by Daniel Koprivcic is sent over the bar by Alex Feneridis

52 min

Canty goes close when Spoonley has to dive to tip a shot by Glen Collins away for a corner

57 min

Spooney back in action to take a long range shot by Paul Dirou

58 min

Spooney tested with another snap 20 metre shot by Clapham with ball turned away for a corner

60 min

Sub; James Pritchett limps out and replaced by Sam Campbell

62 min

Auckland win a freekick after Hayne brought down on edge of area but wastes as ball goes wide

66 min

Auckland corner see Batty take well under real pressure from Ivan Vicelich

69 min

Auckland lift again and win another corner which Batty takes with ease

70 min

Sub: Canty to the bench as Ben Harris comes on to replace Diruo

72 min

Sub: Auckland to the bench this time as Dickison is replaced by Adam McGeorge 

73 min

Canty goes close to break the deadlock when just heading over the bar

76 min

Hayne gets around the last Canty defender but Batty in to cover ball as Haynes tries to round the keeper

77 min

GOAL: 1 - 2 Canty lose ball in midfield and is quickly sent to an unmarked Koprivicic who takes his chance well

82 min

Form a Canty corner Spoonley again punches clear

85  min

Sub: Canty Tom Lancaster on for Jordan Swaney

Sub: Auckland Paul Urlovic replaces Koprivcic

86 min

GOAL: 1 - 3 Urlovic scores with first touch to wrap up the third minor Premiership for Auckland City

90 min

3 minutes time to be added

90 min + 1

Auckland dender nearly turned the ball into his own net from Canty corner

90 min + 3

Full time 1 - 3 Auckland wrap up the minor Premiership with the two sides now set be met each other in the play-offs in two weeks time