Hosting Hawke’s Bay United at Taupo’s Crown Park, Waikato earned a 2-0 win thanks to first half goals from Tyler Lissette and Jason Hicks, while a devastating first half hat trick from Junior All White Dakota Lucas led Wellington to a 3-0 win over Canterbury United in the capital.
Without a point in the ASB Premiership after four straight losses, Waikato FC’s victory in the new competition is a timely confidence boost for Declan Edge’s young team.
“We’re very happy with the win and also with the way we achieved it,” said Edge, “we didn’t make any compromises to the style of football we’re trying to play.”
“Our oldest starting player was 21 and although people say we’re too young to play at this level with just beaten a very good Hawke’s Bay side – a team that just two weeks ago beat Canterbury 3-0.”
Tyler Lissette met Adam Thomas’ back post cross with a firm header to open the scoring from a well-worked short corner in the 17th minute and Jason Hicks doubled the scored in the 29th minute after Ryan Thomas set the midfielder through on goal with an incisive through ball.
In the southern conference, Wellington bounced back from last week’s 0-1 ASB Premiership defeat to Canterbury in Christchurch to regain valuable winning momentum ahead of a next week’s visit from Waitakere in the league.
Lucas stuck first with a ninth minute header, then again in the 20th minute from an angled ball from Jamie Duncan before wrapping up a half-hour hat trick with a fine solo effort that saw him elude two would-be tacklers down the centre of the pitch and beating the keeper one-on-one.
Introduced to give ASB Premiership clubs competitive matches during O-League windows, the White Ribbon Cup also aims to raise awareness of White Ribbon, a campaign aimed at ending domestic violence.
The next round of the White Ribbon Cup will be played on February 19 but the ASB Premiership resumes next Sunday with a Southern derby between Otago United and Canterbury United in Dunedin, a bottom of the table clash between YoungHeart Manawatu and Waikato FC in Palmerston North, and Team Wellington hosting Waitakere United.
The other round five fixture between Hawke’s Bay United and Auckland City has been postponed to Waitangi Day with Auckland competing at the FIFA Club World Cup next week.
They will find out who they will face in the tournament’s Thursday night opener when the J-League winner is determined later tonight but warmed up for their challenge with a 2-1 win over Ryutsu Keizai University in Saitama on Friday night.
At Crown Park, Taupo
Waikato FC 2 (Tyler LISSETTE 17’, Jason HICKS 29’)
Hawke’s Bay United 0
At David Farrington Park, Wellington
Team Wellington 3 (Dakota LUCAS 9’, 20’, 30’)
Canterbury United 0