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
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.
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 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.
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.
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
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Welcome to English Park were conditions are clear but overcast
Auckland kicks off to get play under way
Canty has first attacking move via Aaron Clapman but comes to nothing
Play mostly in the middle of the park so far
Jacob Spoonley out quickly to cover a run by Nick Worteloer
Chad Coombes blasts 35 metre shot hight over goal bar
Good Canty build up see Hue Frame lay ball back to Clapman you cross from edge of area goes wide
Jason Hayne in the clear but pulled back for being offside
A free flowing game so far with both side evenly matched at the moment
Hayne cross cleared by Canty defence
Canty awarded free kick to left of goal 25 minutes out, Clapham good ball in which Spoonley has the punch clear
Spooney down smartly to cut out a cross from Clapman
Caution: Daniel Burns into the book for trying to crib a few mtre at at throw in over several tackles went unpunished
Clapham drills in another fre-kick which Spooney again punches clear
Auckland corner half clear back across goal and bounces around before Wortelboer clears off line
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
GOAL; 1 - 0 from result freekick Clapham scores directly
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
Play back underway
Early chance to Auckland but Adam Dickinson shots softly straight to Batty
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
Canty goes close when Spoonley has to dive to tip a shot by Glen Collins away for a corner
Spooney back in action to take a long range shot by Paul Dirou
Spooney tested with another snap 20 metre shot by Clapham with ball turned away for a corner
Sub; James Pritchett limps out and replaced by Sam Campbell
Auckland win a freekick after Hayne brought down on edge of area but wastes as ball goes wide
Auckland corner see Batty take well under real pressure from Ivan Vicelich
Auckland lift again and win another corner which Batty takes with ease
Sub: Canty to the bench as Ben Harris comes on to replace Diruo
Sub: Auckland to the bench this time as Dickison is replaced by Adam McGeorge
Canty goes close to break the deadlock when just heading over the bar
Hayne gets around the last Canty defender but Batty in to cover ball as Haynes tries to round the keeper
GOAL: 1 - 2 Canty lose ball in midfield and is quickly sent to an unmarked Koprivicic who takes his chance well
Form a Canty corner Spoonley again punches clear
Sub: Canty Tom Lancaster on for Jordan Swaney
Sub: Auckland Paul Urlovic replaces Koprivcic
GOAL: 1 - 3 Urlovic scores with first touch to wrap up the third minor Premiership for Auckland City
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