NZFC - Round 5, Fred Taylor Park, December 1
Benjamin Totori 13, 87
Ian Sandbrook 36
Halftime:1-1 Referee: Chris Kerr Crowd:700
By Bob Pearce at Fred Taylor Park, Whenuapai
Waitakere United will fly to Japan tomorrow buoyed by a 3-1 win over YoungHeart Manawatu at Fred Taylor Park today.
It wasn't pretty and they will have to play a lot better if they are to progress past Iranian side Sepahan to the Club World Cup in Tokyo. But it was a morale-boosting effort considering the pressure the players have been under for the past two weeks.
Their cause was helped by the sending-off of Manawatu's Osea Vakatalesau in the 47th minute for using an elbow in a tackle on Neil Sykes. The straight red card issued by referee Chris Kerr after consulting his assistant was hotly disputed by Manawatu but the decision stood.
The halftime score was 1-1 and Manawatu had been very much in the game but with 10-men they faced an uphill task even against a team with Far Eastern dreams.
"The red card changed the game," said Manawatu coach Shane Rufer. "I'm disappointed for the team because we deserved more today and unfortunately matters outside our control changed the game.
"We had our chances and we kept playing to the end. But we need to win just about every game and it just gets harder. Next week we're away to Auckland City."
Both sides had early chances with Dominic Rowe hitting the post for Manawatu in the first minute and Jason Hayne shooting just wide a minute later.
The first goal came in the 13th minute when a long-range freekick by Darren Bazeley was headed down towards Benjamin Totori, who stuck out a foot and watched as the ball rolled slowly onto the upright and into the goal.
Manawatu were back level in the 36th minute when a through ball eluded a static Waitakere defence and Ian Sandbrook provided a clinical finish.
Danny Hay should have made it 2-1 to the home side just before the interval when a right-wing corner found him unmarked 10 metres out. But he blazed the ball over the bar.
Vakatalesau's dismissal just after the break lifted Waitakere hopes but the go-ahead goal was somewhat unexpected. Bazeley took a freekick from 25 metres and curled the ball just inside the near post with goalkeeper Michael Utting possibly unsighted.
Totori, who had been rueing his lack of goals this season, provided the coup de grace in the 87th minute with a low drive from outside the box that rifled just inside Utting's right-hand post.
"My boys' thoughts were already on the plane and we won 3-1. I'll take that," said Waitakere coach Chris Milicich.
"We have been playing some superb stuff but today was an ugly game of football.
"If we hadn't been going to Japan I'd be unhappy. But when you consider what they have had on their minds with farewell functions and a couple of injuries, I'm happy. We scored some good goals."
A feature of the game at Fred Taylor Park was the unveiling of a 500-seat stand that lifts the spectator facilities to the excellent quality of the upgraded pitch.
Waitakere play their game against Sepahan on Friday evening. Their sixth-round NZFC game away to Wellington has been postponed until December 23. Manawatu face another tough away assignment next week, returning to Auckland to face Auckland City on Saturday.
Photos: Shane Wenzlick www.phototek.co.nz
NZFC - Round 5 Fred Taylor Park
Date Kickoff 3pm
22 Simon Eaddy
19 Michael Utting
2 Jonathan Perry
4 Peni Finau
5 Danny Hay
5 Trent Watson (off 89)
6 Darren Bazeley
23 Scott Robson
7 Jason Hayne (off 79)
11 Ian Sandbrook
8 Commins Menapi (off 60)
16 Ian Robinson
9 Benjamin Totori
15 Prince Quansah (off 68)
10 Allan Pearce (off 70)
21 Tim Richardson
20 Adam Cowan
15 Chris Bale
17 Dominic Rowe (off 68)
33 Paul Seaman
9 Osea Vakatalesau
1 Richard Gillespie
1 Andrew Bailey
4 Matt Cunneen
14 Daniel Aliaga
13 Danko Koprivcic (on 79)
7 Gouzalo Nieres (on 68)
16 Neil Emblen (on 60)
8 Nathan Cooksley (on 89)
17 Jake Butler (on 70)
3 Pablo Yackson (on 68)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Brilliantly fine day. Waitakere make late change after injury to Shane Pascoe in squad warmup. Neil Emblen on bench for first time after injury
Dominic Rowe should have scored but hit post rebounded to Osea Vakatalesau who shot weakly and Eaddy grabbed ball
Jason Hayne just wide for Waitakere
GOAL! 1-0. Long-range freekick by Bazeley headed down to Totori who stuck out foot and watched in delight as the ball rolled slowly on to the upright and in
Halfchance for Paul Seaman. Utting saves
Yellow card for Jonathan Perry
GOAL! 1-1 Ian Sandbrook runs on to a through ball past a hesitant Waitakere defence to equalise
Right-wing corner for Waitakere falls to Danny Hay but he blasts over the top
Halftime. Waitakere must rue some missed chances while Manawatu have battled back into the game
We apologise for the technical difficulties which have prevented second half updates, but we apeared to have restored normal service and can resume the updates.
Red Card. Osea Vakatalesau gets a straight red and Manawatu will play out the the second hlf a man down.
GOAL! 2-1 Waitakere win a freekick 25 metres out. Darren Bazeley steps up to curl the ball inside the left hand upright. Bend it like Bazeley?
GOAL! 3-1 Totori makes it 3-1 with his second. A low drive from outside the box.
Fulltime: Waitakere record a 3-1 win over Manawatu to hang on to third place and keep momentum building as they head to Japan tomorrow.
Substitutions: Emblen for Menapi 59 mins, Yackson for Quansar and Nieres for Rowe 67 mins, Butler for Pearce, Koprivcic for Hayne 78 mins