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Canterbury United

Auckland City


ASB Premiership - Round 14
ASB Football Park, Christchurch
Sunday 8 April, 2012


Russell Kamo 12'

Angel Berlanga 42'




Halftime:1-1                       Referee: Matt Conger                                Crowd: 550


Undefeated Auckland sets new premiership milestone

by John Donnachie at ASB Football Park, Christchurch

CHRISTCHURCH - Minor premiers Auckland City became the first club to go through a regular ASB Premiership season undefeated after a 1-1 draw with Canterbury United in Christchurch today.

The match played in perfect autumnal conditions, rarely hit any great heights but was still contested in a competitive manner.

Canterbury took the early initiative with young academy player Ken Yamamoto dispossessing Ivan Vicelich before crossing into the path of striker Russell Kamo.

The Dragons hitman still had work to do, but he turned expertly in front of the six yard box before slotting the ball into the far corner through a ruck of Auckland defenders.

It was Kamo's 22nd goal in 45 ASB Premiership matches and confirmed him as the all-time top goalscorer for the Dragons.

The equally impressive Aaron Clapham was then denied by the visitors goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley after pitching a 25 yard free-kick right on line with far upright of the goalpost.

Spoonley appeared to see it late but somehow managed to keep it out clawing the ball down before it was thumped out of play by an Auckland defender.

But then the minor premiers levelled the game just before the interval.

Busy midfielder David Mulligan picked out defender Angel Berlanga with a teasing free kick and the Spaniard finished in style with a peach of a header that flashed by a stranded Adam Highfield in the Dragons' goal.

After the break both teams made changes and this subsequently seemed to upset the rhythm of the match.

Still, there were chances in a frantic last quarter as both teams showed a renewed interest in settling the game.

Josh Smith who had a sterling afternoon in the midfield, should have done better- shooting over the bar from the edge of the box, after Kamo had almost dribbled himself through the Auckland defence.

Auckland substitute Luis Corrales had a golden opportunity in front of goal but  got his timing all wrong, and his header glanced harmlessly wide from ten yards.

Then with the game in its final stages the resolute Dragons rearguard failed to deal with a Mulligan free-kick from out wide, and in the ensuing scramble Highfield came off his line to block Auckland midfielder Albert Riera who had just pulled the trigger.

A 1-1 draw was a fair result on the evidence of overall play- and both camps were pleased.

Dragons coach Keith Braithwaite said: I'm wrapped with the performance today. Thoroughly delighted. Aaron Clapham and Josh Smith ran the midfield and defensively we were very good.

Braithwaite expressed his disappointment at conceding a goal so close to half time from a set piece, but added: To get a 1-1 draw with the minor premiers is a great result.  Considering our lack of matches I we think we have to be very happy.

Auckland City coach, Ramon Tribulietx, said finishing the regular season undefeated was very satisfying.

We have played alot of games this year which included a trip to Japan. This record comes as a reward for doing things well. All credit goes to the players.

Tribulietx praised the Canterbury defence but felt the ASB Football Park's synthetic pitch had prevented his team from establishing any dominance in possession.

Best for Canterbury, were strikers Russell Kamo, Ken Yamamoto and Aaron Clapham. For Auckland City, David Mulligan and Angel Berlanga stood out.   

Canterbury now travel to Fred Taylor Park to face defending champions Waitakere United in the first leg, semi final, next Sunday, while Auckland City travel south to take on Team Wellington at Newtown Park the same day. 



Team Sheet

Canterbury United


Auckland City

22. Adam Highfield

1. Jacob Spoonley

3. Mark Johnston

5. Angel Berlanga

4. Nick Wortelboer

7. James Pritchett

5. Tom Schwarz

8. David Mulligan

7. Darren White

9. Manuel Exposito

8. Aaron Clapham(cpt)

11. Daniel Koprivcic

10. Russell Kamo

13. Alex Feneridis

12. Andrew Barton

14. Adam Dickinson

13. Daniel Gloizer

15. Ivan Vicelich

14. Josh Smith

16. Albert Riera

20. Ken Yamamoto

22. Andrew Milne



1. Tom Batty

3. Ian Hogg

2. Dan Terris

10. Luis Corrales

11. Michael White

23. Simon Arms

15. Julyan Collett

12. Liam Anderson

24. Aaron Spain


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card

Play by Play

Happy Easter to all and welcome back to ASB Football Park in Christchurch. It's a glorious sunny Canterbury day with the temperature around the 21deg mark. Perfect conditions for what should be a real humdinger of a match. Will the second placed red & blacks prevent the minor Premiers- Auckland City- from creating history by finishing the regular season undefeated?  

Almost underway both teams in a huddle.

1' YAMAMOTO -CANTY- caught offside.

2'' Lively start by CANTERBURY plenty of good passing and movement

3'  No openings yet. Both defences comfortable

5' The visitors keen to sit back and invite Canterbury

8' Good move between CLAPHAM & WHITE sets up KAMO on edge of box- but he is tackled by Auckland full-back. 

12'GOAL CANTY- KAMO- YAMAMOTO dispossess VIELICH and crosses to KAMO who expertly turns and shoots through a ruck of players into the far corner

15'Game comes to life. First MILNE- AUCKLAND shoots over from edge of box. Then BARTON-CANTY- makes dangerous run and cross which is scrambled clear

17'MULLIGAN-AUCKLAND- FREEKICK from edge of box is cleared by CANTY defence at second attempt.

19'KAMO becomes CANTERBURY UNITED'S record goal scorer courtesy of his strike. 22 goals in 45 matches.

21'Near thing DICKINSON AUCKLAND-almost dribbles and turns his way to a goal around 6 yard box but is crowded out.

23'AUCKLAND looking more dangerous with their short passing game in around the CANTY box.

25'YaMAMOTO'S pace giving visitors problems 

30' CLAPHAM FREEKICK- from deadball 25 yards out-  SPOONLEY just manages to keep it out at the top corner of his near post- the ball then scrambled away for a corner with  CANTY strikers ready to pounce.

33'MULLIGAN FREEKICK from 25 yards out crying out for a touch but missed by everyone including BERLANGA-AUCKLAND- who was free.

35'Great play by CLAPHAM-CANTY  he drives though the middle - runs out of support but then finds JOSH SMITH on the edge of the box and his shot just misses SPOONLEY'S post by a foot. 

40'Turned out an entertaining match for the fans seeking a Easter treat.

41'GOAL-AUCKLAND- MULLIGAN FREEKICK and a peach of a header from BERLANGA which flies into the  top corner.

44'WHITE-CANTY- almost plays in BARTON-danger cleared

45' OFFSIDE-KOPRIVCIC shoots home from close in -well offside- NO GOAL-

Half-time 1-1


47' WHITE- CANTY- shot from edge of box deflected into path of CLAPHAM who 10 yards out skews over the bar.

49'MULLIGAN AUCKLAND sets up EXPOSITO but the spaniard's shot is blocked and rolls through to HIGHFIELD in canty goal.

53' CANTY'S MICHAEL WHITE looking lively since coming on. 


57' CLAPHAM makes long pass picks out BARTON whose cross is partially cleared but referee-CONGER calls OFFSIDE.



61'CLAPHAM FREEKICK -midway of AUCKLAND half is overhit and runs out at far side of the box.

62'HOGG AND RIERA link but canty defence clear danger. FREEKICK-CANTY-30 yards out -CLAPHAM goes across the box SPOONLEY holds. 

63'Wee bit scrappy now- the changes may have broken the rhythum of the match-Are both sides settling for a draw?

65'Frustration for home fans- some 50/50s are going Auckland's way.


71'  Still open here- game is for the taking-who wants it more??


76' Great game by another of the CANTY academy youth KEN YAMAMOTO

78' KAMO CANTY- dribbles his way almost to a goal- but is  blocked and then JOSH SMITH shoots over from 20 yards out.

81'BOOKING- VICELICH BOOKED afte taking out BARTON who was bearing in on goal. The resultant freekick from CLAPHAM agonisingly skips by - a touch goalward would have troubled SPOONLEY 

85' CORRALES-AUCKLAND- free header 10 yards out but gets his timing wrong

and glances it wide

87'HOGG- AUCKLAND- crosses, causes anxious moment but HIGHFIELD is there at near post.

89' MULLIGAN FREEKICK is not cleared and a scramble ensues. it ends with HIGHFIELD RUNNING DOWN RIERA TO BLOCK HIS SHOT FROM CLOSE IN

90+2  Game over- fair outcome honours shared with the two meanest defences in th league.