AUCKLAND-Three goals in an end to end first five minutes saw Auckland City down Wellington Phoenix 'A' 3-1 in the Phoenix Challenge at Kiwitea Street today.
Tobias Bertsch got the visitors off to a cracking start with a goal just two minutes into the game, but slack defending allowed Daniel Saric and Emiliano Tade to turn the deficit around inside a minute.
Wellington Phoenix 'A' coach Chris Greenacre was pleased with the performance, if not the result.
"We shot ourselves in the foot conceding two sloppy goals and we created one or two opportunities ourselves. The second half was more even. It wasn't about the result it was more about the performance," he said.
The former Phoenix striker also had a high opinion of Auckland City's performance.
Greenacre said: "It’s great for our players to play against the quality of player that Auckland City has got.
It was a great opportunity for our players to test themselves against the best players in New Zealand and that's what they've done tonight," Greenacre said.
Auckland dominated the match for long periods and grabbed their third just before the halftime break when Tade broke through and lobbed goalkeeper Scott Basalaj.
The result gave Auckland City its second win in four days after an ASB Charity Cup defeat to rivals Waitakere.
Coach Ramon Tribulietx was pleased with the exercise just a month out from the FIFA Club World Cup playoff in Yokohama on December 6.
"We tried to make sure we played our patterns of possession and – against very good opposition – I think we did that.
"It's great for us to have an opportunity to play against the Phoenix 'A', they're a professional club with some good players from the ASB Premiership and for us it was a great chance to exercise and practice our style against a top side," Tribulietx said.
Despite the win, Auckland coach Ramon Tribulietx may have an injury concern over Club World Cup appearance record holder Daniel Koprivcic who picked up a knock.
Ivan Vicelich – selected for the All Whites for the away friendly in China – was rested for youngster Simon Arms.
The Phoenix 'A' side was comprised of mainly current or past ASB Premiership players including Luke Rowe, Hamish Watson, and Tom Biss, while first teamers Tyler Boyd, Benji Totori and Dani Sanchez also got game time.
"We haven't had much of an opportunity to work with the team and it is difficult because we haven't worked with the group for a week due to circumstances, but we would never use that as an excuse," Greenacre said.
Auckland City's next match is away to Otago United at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Sunday at 2pm.
The next Phoenix Challenge match sees Chris Greenacre's team take on Canterbury United at ASB Football Park in Christchurch on November 28.
Wellington Phoenix Challenge
At Kiwitea Street, Auckland
Auckland City FC 3 (Dan Saric 4', Emiliano Tade 5', 41')
Wellington Phoenix 'A' 1 (Tobias Bertsch 2')
Wellington Phoenix Challenge – Fixtures
Canterbury United v Wellington Phoenix 'A'
ASB Football Park, Christchurch
November 28, 2012
Waitakere United v Wellington Phoenix 'A'
Fred Taylor Park, Auckland
December 5, 2012
Team Wellington v Wellington Phoenix 'A'
David Farrington Park, Wellington
December 12, 2012
YoungHeart Manawatu v Wellington Phoenix 'A'
Memorial Park, Palmerston North
January 9, 2013
Hawke’s Bay United v Wellington Phoenix 'A'
Bluewater Stadium, Napier
January 23, 2013
NZ U-20 Selection v Wellington Phoenix 'A'
January 30, 2013
Waikato FC v Wellington Phoenix 'A'
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton
February 20, 2013
Otago United v Wellington Phoenix 'A'
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
February 27, 2013