NZFC - Round 3, Carisbrook, 18 November 2007
Paul Urlovic 4
Halftime: 0 - 2 Referee: Christopher Kerr Crowd:
by Rab Smth at Carisbrook
“Nine minutes of madness” was how Otago United’s Mike Fridge saw Auckland City’s high pressure start that earned two early goals and left his Dunedin side struggling in the New Zealand Football Championship match in Dunedin.
The 2-0 win at Carisbrook might have been much more except for a dogged display by the local side which struggled to match Auckland’s quicksilver passing.
Fridge said, “We went out looking for a steady start that we could build on, and instead made silly errors that Auckland severely punished.”
For Paul Urlovic, Christmas came early when the Otago defence passed the ball to him at the edge of the box after four minutes, and he strode forward to lace the ball past keeper Liam Little.
Minutes later referee Chris Kerr harshly penalised a John Chisholm tackle, and up stepped Scotsman Bryan Little to curl the ball past his namesake in goal with a shot that scraped the inside paintwork of Otago’s crossbar and right upright.
Otago’s lethargic start vanished as player coach Terry Phelan demanded tighter marking and more competitive tackling to stem Auckland’s classy passing style.
A trumpeting run by Andy Coburn took him up the left wing and his driven low cross beat everyone – including striker Chad Severs in front of goal.
However Otago’s injury hex continued as the American limped off after tangling with big centreback George Suri, and new signing Brad Scott took his place.
Some over-elaborate play by Auckland and several offsides allowed Otago to get its collective head up, and the home side started to threaten Auckland’s goal.
Croyden Wheeler got forward, Scott created some steady possession and when he unloaded for Ben Keat to shoot from a handy position, the midfielder should have done better with Otago’s best chance of the match.
Auckland coach Colin Tuaa brought on Henry Fa’arodo for Chad Coombes and his jagged pace had Otago struggling again, requiring keeper Little to make some fair saves.
Otago looked most likely at corners and set plays where centrebacks Kev Taylor and John Chisholm moved forward to join Richard Smith and in aerial duels with Suri and keeper Tamati Williams.
Throughout the match Auckland’s Ki-Hyung Lee was a class act in central midfield. He sprayed passes around with style and panache.
Auckland coach Tuaa admitted that perhaps Auckland went off the boil a bit after a dynamic start, “but I was pleased at the quality of our passing, the number of shots we got on goal, and our clean sheet” he said.
Otago assistant coach Fridge said, “The lads are so disappointed to have started so poorly, but there were quite a few positive performances and they showed real character not to fold after that shocking start.”
Auckland face Waitakere at home next week in the season's first Auckland derby and a repeat of last year's final, while Otago travel to Palmerston North for their season's first away match against YoungHeart Manawatu.
Photos: Rab Smith.
NZFC - Round 3, Carisbrook
Sun Nov 18, Kickoff 4pm
1. Liam Little (GK)
2. Joel Matthews
3. Terry Phelan
6. Ki-Hyung Lee
5. Kevin Taylor
8. Chad Coombes (Off,63)
6. Terry Alvino
9. Paul Urlovic (off 82)
11. Andy Coburn
12. Tamati Williams (GK)
12. Aaron Burgess (off, 71)
14. Keryn Jordan
14. Chad Severs (off, 23)
16. George Suri
15. John Chisholm
17. Bryan Little
17. Croyden Wheeler
11. Luiz Del Monte (off, 72)
18. Mike Smith
20. Greg Uhlmann
21. Ben Keat
25. Rupesh Puna
7. Robbie Deeley
1. Ernest Wong (GK)
13. Callum Flaws (GK)
3. Craig Wylie
16. Jesse Malloy
4. Lance Heslop (on 82)
19. Richard Smith (on, 71)
18. Henry Fa'arodo (on, 63)
10. Brad Scott (on, 23)
22. Sam Matthews (on, 72)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
3 min Free Kick Otago Phelan takes, Auckland clear
4 min Goal!!! Defensive error puts Urlovic through one on one, Aucklands numbers 9 slides the ball home, 0-1 to Auckland
7 min Goal!!! Free kick 20 yards out Brian Little curles a beauty top left, in off the bar, the keeper had no chance
11 min Otagos Andy Coburn embarks on a mazy run into the box and clips a left footed cross just beyond Severs
15 min Auckland are Knocking the ball in triangles making it extremely hard for Otago to win possession
17 min Keryn Jordan puts a header just wide
19 min Auckalnd seem to have all the time in the world while in possession
23 min Substitution Otago's numbers 14 Chad Severs off, number 10 Brad Scott on
27 min Corner Otago, Wheeler delivers near post, foul given Auckland free kick
28 min End to end attacks, the game is becoming very spread with Auckland breaking quickly
34 min Ben Keat breaks down the left winning a corner for Otago, Taylor wins the header but goes just wide of the post and out for a goal kick
41 min Auckland get a free kick 30 yard out, Keeper Little punches clear.
43 min Free kick to Auckland 25 yards out in front of goal, Auckland look to go short, Otago defence reads it well and clears
Half time. Otago 0 Aucland 2
48 min Keat finds some space in midfield and has a long range shot, goes just wide
53min Jordan get but through on goal has good shot but goes wide
54 min Good build up play Aucklands number 11 slides through ball to Urlovic who shoots low, Little makes good save with his feet.
56 min Scott finds Keat 12 yards out, Keat blazers shot over, thats been Otago's best chance of geting there first goal for the season
63 min Substitution number 18 Henry Fa'arodo on for Number 8 Chad Coombes
68 min Otago struggling to make any real impact in their attacking third
70 min Aucklands Ki-Hyung Lee is haveing a great game, hes controlling the tempo and Otago haven't been able to get near him all game
71 min Substitution Otagos number 12 Aaron Burgess off, Richard Smith number 19 on
72 min Substitution Aucklands 11 Monte off, Sam Matthews number 22 on
75 min Lee continues to pull the strings for Auckland with some sublime passing
80 min Substitution Aucklands number 9 Paul Urlovic off and Aucklands number 19 on
84 min Corner Auckland, overhit out for a goal kick
87 min Ball drops to Alvino on edge of box, beats man but hits shot straight at keeper
88 min Keryn Jordan has shot saved from close range
89 min Free kick Otago, Smith flicks header just wide from Coburns cross
90 min 3 min extra time
Final Score 0 - 2 Auckland well worth the 3 points, Lee was the star man