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Waitakere United

Auckland City


ASB Premiership - Grand Final
Trusts Stadium, Henderson
Sunday 10 April, 2011


Dakota LUCAS 10', 37'
James PRITCHETT o.g. 90'+1

Aaron SCOTT o.g. 26'
Manel EXPOSITO 49' 



Halftime:       2-1                Referee:           Peter O'LEARY                     Crowd: 3500


Waitakere retain ASB Premiership crown in five-goal thriller

by Gordon Glen Watson at Trusts Stadium

Waitakere United captain Jake Butler hoists the ASB Premiership trophy. PhotosportWaitakere United retained the ASB Premiership crown after a five goal thriller with rivals Auckland City at Trusts Stadium, Henderson on Sunday.

With their ranks depleted and 39-year-old player/coach Neil Emblen forced to start the match, Waitakere began the match as slight underdogs despite winning the minor premiership with a record 36 points out of 42 in the regular season.

"I've had a decent enough career in the game and had six years in New Zealand and hopefully I've given a few clubs a bit of value. I'll concentrate on coaching now. I'm really enjoying the work I'm doing so it’s great to finish off as champions," Emblen said.

In a dramatic match strewn with nervy defending, teenager Dakota Lucas opened the scoring on ten minutes when he capitalised on a defensive mix-up in the Auckland defence to slot into an empty net. Moments later defender Jason Rowley rattled the Auckland crossbar with a stinging shot from the edge of the box.

The West Aucklanders' joy was shortlived when former All White Aaron Scott turned an Ian Hogg cross past Waitakere goalkeeper Andy Ralph after 26 minutes.

Manel Exposito is shadowed by Aaron Scott. Photosport.Scott redeemed himself eight minutes before the halftime break when he played a superb pass into the path of Lucas, who tried a cheeky lob over goalkeeper Spoonley. Spoonley parried Lucas’ effort into the air only for the 19-year-old to follow through with a pinpoint header over the stranded Ivan Vicelich to restore Waitakere United’s lead.

The jittery defending continued four minutes after the restart when a mix-up between Andy Ralph and Neil Emblen allowed Manel Exposito to score an equaliser. The match was turned on its head when referee Peter O’Leary awarded a penalty for Auckland City only for Exposito to slam his spot kick against Ralph’s left-hand upright.

That miss proved fatal for Auckland City’s hopes of a domestic and continental double when one minute into additional time Dakota Lucas saw his cross take a deflection off defender James Pritchett and end up in the back of Spoonley’s net to make it 3-2 for the home side.

Emblen, in the final match of his career, paid tribute to his under strength squad.

Man of the match Dakota Lucas celebrates his second goal. Photosport"I thought Tim Payne was superb. It was his first Grand Final and he acquitted himself extremely well. A couple of senior boys also stepped up, Martin Bullock was fantastic in midfield and Jake Butler did a great job as well. Dakota Lucas is just a teenager and he stepped up and did well,” Emblen said.

With his playing career finished and a domestic ‘double’ of Minor Premiership and Grand Final win complete, Emblen also noted the financial importance of Auckland City’s O-League meeting with Amicale next Sunday.

"When you're regular season winners with 36 points out of a possible 42, we were worthy winners of this competition. I'd like to go on record and say that I hope Auckland City go on to win the O-League and bring that competition back to New Zealand with prize money for every ASB Premiership club."

Beaten finalists Auckland City have one more shot at silverware when they take on Amicale of Vanuatu in the O-League Grand Final 2nd Leg at Kiwitea Street, Sandringham on Sunday 17 April.

Victory for Auckland, who lead the tie 2-1 in aggregate, means qualification for the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2011 and a financial windfall of $500,000.00USD for football in New Zealand.



ASB Premiership Grand Final
Trusts Stadium, Henderson, Auckland.
April 10, 2010
Referee: Peter O’LEARY
Waitakere United 3 (Dakota LUCAS 10’ 37’; Mike GWYTHER 90+1’)
Auckland City 2 (Own goal (Aaron SCOTT) 26’, Manel EXPOSITO 49’)
Halftime: 2-1

Manel EXPOSITO missed penalty 62’

Waitakere United: 28-Andy RALPH (GK),  2-Jason ROWLEY, 3-Aaron SCOTT, 4-Tim MYERS, 7-Martin BULLOCK, 10-Allan PEARCE, 14-Tim PAYNE, (18-Zane SOLE 90+2’), 16-Neil EMBLEN, 17-Jake BUTLER (c), 19- Dakota LUCAS, 20-Ryan de VRIES (13-Michael GWYTHER 80’).
Substitutes not used: 1-Danny ROBINSON (GK), 21-Anthony HOBBS, 23-Ashton PETT, 29-Jordan VALE, 30-Rory TURNER.
Coach: Neil EMBLEN

Cautions: None

Auckland City: 1-Jacob SPOONLEY (GK), 2-Angel BERLANGA, 3-Ian HOGG, 6-Stuart KELLY (10-Luis CORRALES 60’), 7-James PRITCHETT, 9-Manel EXPOSITO, 11-Daniel KOPRIVCIC, 13-Alex FENERIDIS, 14-Adam DICKINSON, 15-Ivan VICELICH (c), 16-Albert RIERA (23-Adam THOMAS 80’).
Substitutes not used: 4-Sam CAMPBELL, 12-Liam LITTLE (GK), 17-Adam MCGEORGE, 20-Riki VAN STEEDEN, 22-Adam MILNE.
Co-Coaches: Aaron MCFARLAND and Ramon TRIBULIETX.

Cautions: Ian HOGG 14’, Manel EXPOSITO 72’


New Zealand has two spots in next season’s competition. They will be awarded to this season’s ASB Minor Premiers (Waitakere United) and the winner of the ASB Premiership Grand Final. With Waitakere United crowned as ASB Premiership champions, Auckland City, as regular season league runners-up, advance as New Zealand’s second representatives.


Team Sheet

Waitakere United


Auckland City

1- Andy RALPH (GK)

1- Jacob SPOONLEY (GK)

2- Jason ROWLEY


3- Aaron SCOTT (o.g )

3- Ian HOGG

4- Tim MYERS

6- Stuart KELLY (60')

7- Martin BULLOCK

7- James PRITCHETT  (o.g )

10- Allan PEARCE


14- Tim PAYNE

11- Daniel KOPRIVCIC

16- Neil EMBLEN


17- Jake BUTLER (c)


19- Dakota LUCAS

15- Ivan VICELICH (c)

20- Ryan de VRIES (80')

16- Albert RIERA (80')



1- Danny ROBINSON (GK)

12- Liam LITTLE (GK)

13- Michael GWYTHER (80')


18- Zane SOLE

10- Luis CORRALES (60')

21- Ant HOBBS

17- Adam McGEORGE

23- Ashton PETT

20- Riki van STEEDEN

29- Jordan VALE

22- Andrew MILNE

30- Rory TURNER

23- Adam THOMAS (80')


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card

Play by Play



Welcome to Trusts Stadium, Henderson, for the 2010/11 ASB Premiership Grand Final between Waitakere United and Auckland City. Waitakere United chase a third ASB Premiership title while Auckland City could complete the first stage of a domestic and continental double for the third time. Waitakere United - minor premiers - will go all out to snatch a domestic 'double' of their own and retain the title they won last season.



Waitakere United player/coach Neil EMBLEN:

On the team selection:

"We waited late on to name the team. Jason ROWLEY and Tim MYERS have come through a fitness test and I'm going to join them at the back."

Tactical approach:

"We're going to try and press them high and stop them playing out. Not many teams have done that but we're going to give it a try."



Auckland City co-coach Aaron MacFARLAND:

Auckland City squad preparation:

"The feeling is very focussed its another step along the journey we've set goals for. We're a really focussed team today."

Auckland City co-coach Ramon TRIBULIETX:

On the possibility of an ASB Premiership and O-League 'double':

"We just want to focus on one game at a time. Today's focus is this game and we'll start thinking about the O-League Final 2nd Leg on Monday."



Both teams have named their line-ups and the home side have decided to start 39-year-old player/coach Neil EMBLEN as they go in search of a formula to counter Auckland City's possession-based game.

There is a surprise in the Auckland City ranks with All Whites midfielder David MULLIGAN left out of the squad entirely. Other than that the Auckland City starting line-up has a formidable look about it with Ivan VICELICH, Manel EXPOSITO and Stuart KELLY all present as Auckland chase a fifth ASB Premiership title in seven seasons.


This match is broadcast live and exclusive on Sky Sports 2 from 2pm with radio coverage available at - check the website for local listings.


FIFA anthem announces the arrival of both teams on the pitch...we're five minutes from kick-off. The conditions are grey and overcast with a crispness cool stillness. Possibility of rain later on, how that impacts on the proceedings remain to be seen. NZF Chairman Frank van HATTUM along with other dignataries shake hands with the players. The stadium is full and the prospects for an entertaining clash in this, the 22nd ever 'Super City' derby, look good.


Referee Peter O'LEARY gets us underway as Auckland City attack the goal nearest to the gymnasium end of the stadium.


Manel EXPOSITO slaps a weak shot at goal and its cleared.


Dakota LUCAS whips in a dangerous cross but there are no takers - anxious moments for Auckland City. On target, and that could have been 1-0 to the home side.


Ivan VICELICH brings the ball down, plays in James PRITCHETT whose cross is cleared and its a corner for Auckland City.


Corner to be taken by Stu KELLY - cleared by Jason ROWLEY and Alex FENERIDIS blasts his shot over the crossbar.


GOAL! Waitakere United 1-0 Auckland City - Dakota LUCAS capitalises on a mix up in the Auckland City defence and puts Waitakere into the lead! Sensational moments here at Trusts Stadium!


Allan PEARCE has only Jacob SPOONLEY to beat but thrashes his shot high over the crossbar.


YELLOW CARD - Ian HOGG of Auckland City gets cautioned for a foul on Dakota LUCAS.


Jason ROWLEY lashes a fierce shot against the Auckland City crossbar! Auckland City teetering under pressure here!


After an uncertain start, Waitakere United have turned up the pressure on Auckland City and it's telling, certainly.


Albert REIRA starts to search for the ball as Auckland City try to regain a foothold in this match. EXPOSITO, KOPRIVCIC, HOGG play keep ball for several phases -


A deep free kick from EXPOSITO finds the head of KOPRIVCIC but defelected for a corner by Tim MYERS.


Martin BULLOCK threads a wonder pass through the Auckland City defence for Allan PEARCE whose shot is blocked by Angel BERLANGA - masterful work by the former Barnsley professional!


More drama here as EXPOSITO plays Ian HOGG into space only for Allan PEARCE to race back and clip the flying left back just outside the box. Referee O'LEARY goes to his Assistant Referee for another opinion while HOGG is helped to his feet by physiotherapist Andrew NEWMARCH. Play continues but the Auckland fans didn't like that one bit.


Auckland City building a move outside the Waitakere penalty area - HOGG sends in a pinpoint cross for Adam DICKINSON but Jason ROWLEY arrives just in front of the Auckland frontman and the danger is over. For now.


GOAL! Waitakere United 1-1 Auckland City - HOGG is away again he clips in another beautiful cross and Aaron SCOTT turns the ball into his own net! Auckland City are level! Disaster for Waitakere and SCOTT!


The excitement quotient goes up a notch with Jacob SPOONLEY forced into a series of dynamic saves. Dakota LUCAS is a constant threat on the break with his pace and directness - this game is shaping up as a classic!


SPOONLEY has possession and just takes some of the sting out of the match. Stu KELLY picks up the ball midway in Waitakere United territory. Ball is crossed but Andy RALPH grabs it easily.


An Andy RALPH long ball reaches the Auckland City penalty area but is headed clear.


Allan PEARCE has taken up a more central position today and he's causing a few problems for the Auckland City defence.


HOGG beats PEARCE with a header just on halfway - the match goes through a lull in proceedings - although that is broken by a crunching tackle by REIRA on SCOTT.


GOAL! Waitakere United 2-1 Auckland City - Sensational curved pass by Aaron SCOTT finds Dakota LUCAS in space - LUCAS tries a cheeky lob, SPOONLEY parries into the air and LUCAS follows through with a pinpoint header that leaves Ivan VICELICH stranded on the line!


The rain is pouring down here at Trusts Stadium - not unexpected, of course, how will the two teams respond? Waitakere currently on course for their second consecutive title and a minor premiership and championship 'double'. Auckland City's 'double' hopes are a busted flush - IF this score remains the same.


Manel EXPOSITO is laid out by a collision and physio Andrew NEWMARCH is back into the action. Its a free-kick to Auckland in a handy position - it looks like Stu KELLY will take this with VICELICH, BERLANGA and KOPRIVCIC all taking up positions in and around the Waitakere penalty area.


Andy RALPH catches KELLY's free-kick easily.


Ian HOGG breaks but tumbles over in the area again - definitely no penalty there and definitely no complaints from HOGG.


Halftime looming and its Waitakere United with the edge in this one. SCOTT throw-in looks for Tim PAYNE. The fourth official indicates one additional minute to be played.


Throw in by Tim MYERS. Jake BUTLER plays back to MYERS. Now de VRIES has the ball but Auckland City's defence repels the attempted pass.


Waitakere United 2-1 Auckland City - Plenty of talking points in an action-packed first half. Dakota LUCAS put Waitakere United ahead on ten minutes. Ian HOGG's quality cross saw Aaron SCOTT turn the ball past goalkeeper Andy RALPH for the leveller. SCOTT redeemed himself on 26 minutes when his superb pass sent LUCAS clear on SPOONLEY's goal. SPOONLEY's parry saw LUCAS nod the rebound over VICELICH to make it 2-1. Plenty of action to look forward to in the next 45 minutes..!


Ryan de VRIES tries to find a gap for Tim PAYNE but Auckland defence is resolute.


Long ball over the top for de VRIES skids off the wet surface and carries through to Jacob SPOONLEY.


KELLY lobbed pass for EXPOSITO finds the Spanish forward offside.


GOAL! Waitakere United 2-2 Auckland City - A terrible mix-up between Neil EMBLEN and Andy RALPH and that allows Manel EXPOSITO to nab an equaliser.


Quick throw in sets LUCAS away on goal with Auckland City at sixes and sevens. Auckland clear the danger - anxious moments.


Andy RALPH looks for a backpass from ROWLEY but he's hesitating and ROWLEY is chased down into the corner - words exchanged there as a repeat of the second Auckland City goal looked all on!


Auckland City in trouble with a de VRIES throughball looking for the pacy LUCAS - SPOONLEY anticipates and races to the edge of the penalty area to snaffle the ball.


REIRA puts in a crunching tackle to win possession and set off another Auckland City attack.


Manel EXPOSITO thrashes a shot against the Waitakere United upright with RALPH well beaten. Alex FENERIDIS snap shot flies over the crossbar - anxious moments here for Waitakere.


Jake BUTLER sprays a pass wide on the right for Tim PAYNE.


James PRITCHETT shoots from long distance.


SUBSTITUTION - 6. Stu KELLY is replaced by 10. Luis CORRALES


PENALTY! Aaron SCOTT is adjudged to have gone over the top of Daniel KOPRVICIC and Referee Peter O'LEARY gives a penalty!


MISSED! EXPOSITO strikes the right hand upright as Andy RALPH watches on in delight!


BULLOCK attempts a backpass to RALPH and the goalkeeper shapes up to clear...not bad considering the pressure he's been under since the second goal.


Luis CORRALES on a fast break for Auckland City - now DICKINSON sets up KORPIVCIC but the former Waitakere forward can't get the ball out of his feet to shoot.


CORRALES looking sharp around the box for Auckland City but the striker can't find a way past a wall of white shirts.


Ivan VICELICH does well to mop up a Waitakere attack - the All Whites defender is still a class act.


Martin BULLOCK is upended by Alex FENERIDIS and its a freekick for Waitakere wide on the left. BULLOCK to take but he can't even first marker.


YELLOW CARD - Manel EXPOSITO is cautioned for simulation after going to ground under a Neil EMBLEN approach


Andy RALPH deals with yet another backpass and hacks the ball clear - anxious moments for the Waitakere goalkeeper but no further trouble from the deck for the custodian.


BULLOCK freekick to the far post is headed away by VICELICH - now Auckland City coutner attack through DICKINSON - a Tim MYERS foot prevents a pass to CORRALES and the moment passes.


Long range shot by SCOTT is deflected away.


Jake BUTLER shoots from 25 metres out but his shot fizzes wide of SPOONLEY's goal.


SUBSTITUTION - 13. Michael GWYTHER replaces 20. Ryan de VRIES for Waitakere United.


SUBSTITUTION - 23. Adam THOMAS replaces 16. Albert REIRA for Auckland City


Only one previous ASB Premiership Grand Final has gone to extra time - Auckland City v Canterbury United 2005-06 season - will this one go the distance or will we see extra time here at Trust Stadium today?


The pace of the match has slowed as extra time looms - neither team will want to lose the Grand Final at this point.


Allan PEARCE cross from the right skids across the face of goal - no takers in a white shirt and it remains 2-2.


Corner for Auckland City - Ivan VICELICH stormed forward to set up the attack and its his header that is cleared off the line by Jason ROWLEY!


Body check by Tim MYERS on Luis CORRALES deep inside Auckland City territory. Tired legs out there for both teams.


Corner for Auckland City - Waitakere deal with it as blue shirts pile forward. Jake BUTLER is brought down by Daniel KOPRIVCIC.


Freekick on halfway for Waitakere as the regulation 90 minutes is up. Three additional minutes to be played. Auckland counter attack but KOPRIVCIC fires well over.


GOAL! Michael GWYTHER gets on the edge of a scrambled PEARCE cross and James PRITCHETT turns the ball into his own net to make it 3-2!!! Disaster for Auckland City, elation for Waitakere!


Adam THOMAS crosses but Waitakere hack the ball clear  - sensational finish here - the Auckland City fans fall silent...


Waitakere United 3-2 Auckland City - What a Grand Final! Waitakere United have retained the ASB Premiership with a domestic 'double' of championship and minor premiership, retained for the first time in the club's history.