ASB Premiership - Week 1
Fred Jones Park, Hamilton
Saturday 16 October, 2010
Milos Nikolic 19
Daniel Koprivcic (pen) 38
Halftime: 2-1 Referee: Chris Kerr Crowd 500+
by staff reporter at Fred Jones Park
Two stunning late free kicks from All Whites midfielder David Mulligan ensured Auckland City left Hamilton with a 3-2 victory over a more than competitive Waikato FC in the 2010/11 ASB Premiership’s opening match.
Trailing 1-2 at halftime and for most of the second half, Mulligan stepped up in the 79th and 82nd minutes to curl two free kicks over the Waikato wall and past John Fletcher as the reigning minor Premierships escaped the lush surrounds of Fred Jones Park with three points that could have just as easily stayed in the Fountain City.
Auckland City old boys Milos Nikolic who left Kiwitea Street for more first team opportunities gave the home side a 19th lead with a flick on from a Jason Hicks free kick.
The lead may have been undeserved at that pont – Waikato had been soaking up plenty of Auckland pressure until then – but from then on they were every bit the equal of one of the league’s powerhouses and were unlucky to concede an equaliser when Adam Dickinson earned a soft penalty which Daniel Koprivcic duly converted.
The game’s only goal from set play came from Waikato captain Nathan Palmer who beat his man and slammed the ball past an oncoming Jacob Spoonley just before halftime.
Waikato had a late chance to snatch a draw when substitute Mauri Wasi broke clear and with his second attempt set up Palmer who saw his shot cleared off the line by Sam Campbell.
In taking Auckland to the wire, Waikato suggested that they will be more than a match for most teams in the league, at home at least and coach Willy Gerdsen was clear what the difference between the two sides was.
“All credit to Mulligan,” said Gerdson. “They were two brilliant free kicks but for me it’s where we gave those free kicks away that disappoints me”
“I’m very proud of the boys. We didn’t get the point we deserved but we’re a new team and a new set up and we’ll get stronger as the season goes on.”
Mulligan himself was just pleased to get a competitive game under his belt after seeing limited opportunities during his two years at the Wellington Phoenix.
“That’s my first 90 in I don’t know how long but it’s great to get a full game and to score a couple of free kicks. I probably could have had another couple of goals but for the keeper. That said, I’ll happily take the two I got.
“It’s always good to start with a win and it was a real battle today. Waikato will do very well in the ASB Premiership so it was pretty special to get the three points and a couple of goals on my debut.”
Auckland co coach Aaron McFarland warned other teams not to write off the new-look Waikato side.
“We warned pour players that they were stepping into the unknown a little bit with Waikato’s new squad," McFarland said.
“Their players had a lot to prove, but had a lot of experience in the Northern League and had won things with their teams so they knew how to win. It was always going to be a tough start.
“We’re happy to take the points, but the players know the win probably papered over a few cracks.
1. John Fletcher (GK)
1. Jacob Spoonley
3. Alex Barlow
2. Angel Berlanga
4. Ryan Zoghby
3. Ian Hogg
5. Nathan Strom
4. Sam Campbell
6. Nick Branch
5. Phil Edginton
7. Jason Hicks (Wasi 85)
6. Stu Kelly (Corrales 56)
8. Jason McKeown
7. James Pritchett (c)
10. Dan Peat (Jones 80)
8. Dave Mulligan
11. Nathan Palmer (c)
11. Daniel Koprivcic (Avendano 71)
12. Jack Beguely (Manko 80)
13. Alex Feneridis (McGeorge 56 )
17. Milos Nikolic
14. Adam Dickinson
22. Alex Carr (RGK)
9. Francisco Avendano (on 71)
2. Maksim Manko (on 80)
10. Luis Corrales (on 56)
9. Mark Jones (on 80)
17. Adam McGeorge (on 56)
20. Miguel Baeza
18. Patrick George (RGK)
24. Mauri Wasi (on 85)
23. Adam Thomas
=2 yellow cards
= red card
A glorious day in Hamilton for teh start of the 2010/11 ASB Premiership season. While local eyes will be on a new-look Waikato side to see how this blend of young talent performs under the guidance of Willy Gerdsen, a few will also be keen to see Auckland new recruit David Mulligan, who will be champing at the bit for some competitive football. Auckland are also starting Angel Berlanga who hails from Spain and have Chilean Francisco Avendano on the bench.
And we're off. Chris Kerr gets us underway. Waikato playing in their home red strip towards the Frankton end, and Auckland in white playing towards the city end.
Early shot from Stu Kelly, the former Canterbury and Otago midfielder, but it sails into the carpark.
Mulligan floats a ball over the top for Koprivcic but Waikato keeper John Fletcher beats him to it.
Auckland win a corner, which Feneridis meets with a towering header but can't direct it on target.
Auckland have a free kick in a dangerous position wide on their right flank, but Mulligan can't find an Auckland head.
Mulligan take another free kick quickly to Pritchett but the new Auckland captain is wasteful with his delivery
Auckland dominating possession but can't break Waikato down
Dan Peat gives a great ball down the line for Nathan Palmer but the Waikato captain is caled back for offside. Must have been close.
Feneridis strips Jason Hicks off the ball deep in the Waikato half but Chris Kerr calls the Auckland midfielder up for a foul/
Zoghby pulled up for a handball, 25 yards out. Mulligan over the ball, he'll have a crack from that distance, surely.
He does, and Fletcher rises high to his right to tip it over. Great strike from Mulligan, equally good save from Fletcher.
GOAL! Waikato's first real atacking free kick is sent in byHicks and a back header from Milos Nikolic beats Spoonley to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
A long throw from Nathan Strom bounces to Palmer at teh back post but he thrashes the ball over the bar
Stu Kelly wins a free kick wide left. Mulligan swings it in and it is just inches over the bar.
Mulligan in everyting for Auckland at the moment as he tries to stamp his mark on the game
Nick Branch find Palmer, who wriggles free insode the box with a great forst touch but hits teh side netting with his shot. Unsurprisingly, Waikato playing with a lot more confidence after the goal.
Adam Dickenson picks up the game's first card for a rash tackle on ALex Barlow
The Fred Jones turf is looking a picture. Not bad for a rugby ground.
Penalty! Adam Dickison looks to have lost possession in the box but wins a foul from former teammate Nick Branch.
GOAL! Koprivcic slots it past Fletcher's right, even though the stopper gets a glove to it. 1-1
GOAL! 2-1 Waikato. Captain Nathan Palmer caps a fine run with a great finish into teh roof of the net over an advancing Spoonley.
one minute of stoppage time to be played.
Waikato shading the Battle of the Bombays 2-1 at the moment.
Back underway at Fred Jones. No changes to either side
Dickinson and Mulligan combine crisply on the right flank but Dickinson's cross is too strong
Mulligan swings a corner in but Koprivcic is picked up for a foul on goalkeeper Fletcher.
Double substitution for Auckland as Adam McGeorge replaces Feneridis and Luis Corrales makes his Auckland debut to replace Stu Kelly
Auckland captain picks up a yellow for a challenge on Palmer.
Brave goalkeeping by Fletcher t ocollect a pass that rakes across the face of his goal.
Alex Barlow is down and is receiving attention from the physio.
The combative Ian Hogg is milliseconds late with a stiff challenge and collects some ankle with teh ball. Yellow Card from Chris Kerr
McGeorge and Dickinson unlock the Waikato defence but Dickinson's firm shot sails wide. Fletcher looked beaten if that was on target.
Sub for Auckland: The goalscorere Koprivcic replaced by Francisco Avandano, who immediately has a shot that has Fletcher momentarily concerned.
Auckland searching for an equaliser but Waikato's defence stands firm
McGeorge earns a yellow for a thumping challenge on Nathan Palmer
Great take by Fletcher as Auckland continue to surge forward
The ball finally goes into touch after a long passage of play and Barlow retrospectively recieves a yellow for a foul committed minutes ago (but play was waived on at the time)
Auckland win a free kick on the outside of the area.
GOAL! Mulligan curls the ball around a five man wall beating Fletcher all ends up. 2-2
Double sub for Waikato. Mark Jones and Maksim Manko on for Peat and Beguely
Nathan Strom gives away a foul on the edge of the area. This is well within Mulligan's range. He gets a yellow to boot.
GOAL! Mulligan bends this one over the wall. Fletcher doesn't move 3-2 Auckland
Mauri Wasi comes on for Jason Hicks as Waikato roll the dice for the last time
The substitution almost pays off as Wasi breaks clear, has a shot blocked by Spoonley then tees up Nikolic whose shot is cleared off the line by Sam Campbell. How did they not score?
A minimum of four added minutes to be played
There could still be a twist in this one yet as both teams keep pushing forward
FULLTIME: Two stunning freekicks form David Mulligan prove the difference in a very even game. Willy Gerdsen can take plenty of heart from his side's competitiveness but McFarland and Tribulietx take the three points.