ASB Premiership Week 17,
David Farrington Park,
Sunday 13th March 2011
Luis CORRALES 78'
Halftime: 0-0 Referee: M Benischke Crowd: 423
by David Cross at David Farrington Park
The visitors were at full strength after having played on Thursday night looking to put the surprise 1-0 loss to Canterbury behind them.
The defining moment of the game came in the 23rd minute. Team Wellington broke down the left and a shot deflected across the goal mouth to end up in front of an on-rushing John Sutherland. Auckland City keeper Jacob Spoonley arrived with equal force from the other direction and the two collided. Sutherland saw referee Mirko Benischke brandish a red card as Spoonley received treatment from the physio.
From here on one could have expected Wellington to collapse but instead they showed great endeavour to stay in the match, and could have gone in front within ten minutes as Emiliano Tade worked a chance that Spoonley spilt but no one was chasing up.
A great save by Phil Imray, dropping to his left to stop Adam Dickinson's placed shot just inside the far post, before halftime resulted in a goal line clearance from Jamie Duncan from an Manel Exposito shot.
The second half continued in the same vain with chances at both ends and in particular the introduction of Ryan Cain adding some real bite to the home sides attack. He and fellow youngster Justin Gulley linked a number of times to force the visitors to scramble in defence.
In the end the numerical disadvantage proved too much for the home side with former Team Wellington player Luis Corrales finishing across Phil Imray after good play around the edge of the area from Auckland.
The visitors take a two goal lead into the second leg at Kiwitea Street in a fortnight.
Team Wellington coach Stu Jacobs was philosophical about the scoreline.
"We've scored four up there before. We only need three this time," Jacobs said, referring to the 2007-08 Preliminary Final win over Auckland.
Jacobs was left to rue the first half dismissal of Sutherland, an event he believes changed the complexion of the match.
"I think the sending off had a real impact. They're tough to beat with eleven, let alone going to ten. I thought we really stopped them from doing what they want to do and that's getting the ball in to flank areas and cutting inside and once we denied those options things slowed right down for them. They played across the park and looked a bit short on ideas."
"They punish mistakes. The first one we got caught defending too deep and the second we gave the ball away and they countered and stored," said Jacobs",I can't fault the guys. If we'd taken a chance here or there it could have been different and when you're playing Auckland or Waitakere you can't let them off the hook if you want to be in the game."
"We've just got to do better with eleven in two weeks time."
His opposite number Aaron MacFarland wasn't under-estimating the impact of the sending off either.
"I think it helps playing ten men but I thought we started on the right foot, we kept to a plan of keeping possession which was something we failed to do on Thursday against Canterbury. We fell in to the trap of giving the ball away too cheaply and I think did a much better job of that today"
He was proud of the way his team dealt with the situation.
"It was a really good team effort, the two latin boys have nipped in to spoil the party. Those kind of players on the break are really dangerous. Against ten men it's a matter of waiting for your chance and Team Wellington held their shape well but eventually the effort was just too much to keep up." said MacFarland
MacFarland can look toward the second leg feeling they already have one foot in the grand final.
"Wellington is a difficult place to come to, last time we were here we couldn't score in a 0-0 draw so to take a two goal lead home is very pleasing. It puts us in a confident mood, and they will have to chase it which changes the dynamics and may help us as well," he said.
It certainly looks a big ask for the lads from the capital to get back in to this tie.
1. Phil Imray (GK)
1. Jacob Spoonley (GK)
2. Scott Robson
2. Angel Berlanga
3. Jamie Duncan
3. Ian Hogg (Thomas 64')
5. Jamie O'Connor (Cornand 59')
6. Stuart Kelly
7. Wiremu Patrick
7. James Pritchett
12. Emiliano Tade (Abba 69')
9. Manual Exposito
13. Karl Whalen
11. Daniel Koprivcic
14. Hicham Kamri (Cain 57')
13. Alex Feneridis
16. John Sutherland
14. Alex Dickinson (Milne 70')
22. Justin Gulley
15. Ivan Vicelich
24. Tyler Lissette
16. Albert Riera Vidal (Corrales 54')
10. Michael Fifi
4. Sam Campbell
11. Andrew Abba (in 69')
10. Luis Corrales (in 54')
23. Ryan Cain (in 57')
12. Liam Little (RGK)
25. Lance Ramaekers (RGK)
22. Andrew Milne (in 70')
9. Romain Cornand (in 59')
23. Adam Thomas (in 64')
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Play by Play
Crikey. What a day. Not a cloud in the sky for the second day running, and a gentle breeze (honest).
Changes for the home side has George Barbarouses in brisbane supporting his brother (apparently) and Jamie O'Connor in for the first time since he limped out of the season opener.
Whoops. Forgot to mention that we're starting fifteen late due to delayes in the Auckland City travel plans... and now the officials are pointing out to Auckland City that they are meant to be starting in three minutes but are still in the middle of the pitch warming up. Suspect we'll lose another five minutes.
We're off. Team Wellington have lined up with Jamie O'Connor in midfield covering the centre pairing of Lissette and Whalen.
Auckland City corner. Cleared by the Wellington defence.
Off the ball O'Connor and Koprivcic come togetherresulting in a free kick wide on Aucklands left. Exposito over the free kick. imray takes it but juggles before holding on.
Sutherland is the first in the book. A coming together with Exposito which seemed 50/50 on first look.
Foul count mounting against the home side.
Scott Robson now in the book as well. He breaks up an Auckland City break with a professional foul.
Tade launches a long shot. team Wellington holding possession a little better now. Still look under-pressure when on defence though
Exposito claims for obstruction are ignored and Team Wellington break but can't quite get the last ball in.
John Sutherland - straight Red Card. He's come in wide on a ball that has broken and he and Spoonley have come together both making for the ball. Concencus here is that the decision is a little harsh.
Lots of Auckland pressure but little in the way of chances as the locals scramble. Exposito launches one from well out and Imray has to get up to tip it over.
Resulting corner is cleared.
Auckland try and tap it over the top but Robson makes a great header and it's cleared by Patrick.
Team Wellington with a couple of chance in a row. One sliced, one blocked and one spooned (see what I've done there) by Spoonley but no one following in.
Imray with a great save low to his left. Koprovcic looks to shoot but then drops it in to the D and Dickinson trieds to place the shot but Imray is equal to it. Duncan clears the ball over the clubrooms.
Berlanga ends up on the ground from a corner and needs help from the physio. Some claret as he wanders past our position.
45' + 1
Another ball goes sailing out of Farrington Field. This time Tade shoots from just inside the City half and wide on the left. Well over.
Exposito breaks, then tries to be too flash and his shot is blocked by Whalen and cleared by Lissette.
City corner. Koprivcic gets on the ned and hits it well as Ivan hits the deck. jamie Duncan on the post get's it out.
...and that's the half.
Berlanga back on but wearing a lucky headbandage and one of David Mulligan's shirts
Another free kick in a dangerous position after a City player ran in to the back of Scott Robson. Resulting attempt is headed over.
Patrick in the book for what looked like an accidental collision.
SUB Riera off Corrales on.
Whalen makes a Sigmundesque run down the right, unlucky not to get the 1-2 off Tade. Auckland scramble for once.
SUB - Kamri off - Ryan Cain on.
Cain running at the defence, has Pritchett, icelich and Corrales for company abut his ball through isn't met by the players coming through midfield.
Auckland then break the other way but the long shot is easily taken by Imray.
TW throw, Tade runs rings around the defence but is lacking support and is smotherd. This is followed by Benishke having words with Ryan Cain for a great tackle.
SUB - Ian Hogg off for Adam Thomas.
Scrambling defence again fo Auckland Whalen lunges and the ball almost falls in the path of the Auckland attack before Duncan clears.
Koprivcic headers sails just wide of the far post.
SUB - O'Connor off for Romain Cornand.
Cain is through but Pritchett nicks the ball and plays it out. Goal Kick?
Tade plays Cain thoguh, Cain shot deflected, fell to Tade running through, he tries to take it wound Spoonley but gets too much on it. The resulting City clearance is straight in to him but deflects just wide of Spoonley's post.
Cornand cross and Cain gets above Pritchett and Vicelich but can't control his header.
SUB - Abba on for Tade. Could this be Auckland's Waterloo.
GOAL - Finally City finish one. Good interplay on the edge of the box across the face of goal Luis Corrales put's the vicitors up.
SUB - Dickinson off - Milne on.
Team Wellington showing plenty of endeavour. Can't quite unlock the experienced city defence.
GOAL - Exposito maes it two. Team Wellington chasing the game leaves them exposed to the break and Exposito one on one with Imray finishes calmly.
...and that's all folks. 2-0 to the visitors.