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Sun 16 Mar, 2.35pm, 2014
Kiwitea St, Sandringham

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Play by Play / Wrap



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Waitakere United

Otago United


NZFC - Round 7, Fred Taylor Park,  15 December 2007


Commins Menapi 65, 73
Jake Butler 81
Daniel Koprivcic 90+1




Halftime:0-0                       Referee: James Thian                               Crowd:350 


Waitakere wear Otago down

by Bob Pearce at Fred Taylor Park

Waitakere's Commins Menapi (left) celebrates his first goal of the match with Benjamin Totori. Photo: Shane Wenzlick United eventually won a war of attrition 4-0 against Otago United at Whenuapai but their fans were far from happy with 25 minutes to go.

The southerners, bottom of the table and winless this season, defended in numbers and frustrated Waitakere for 65 minutes before Chris Bale threaded a pass through the defence, Graham Pearce laid on the cross and Commins Menapi provided the finish.

From then on in it was a familiar story for Otago. They tried to fashion a counter but the gaps appeared in their defence and Waitakere capitalised.

Menapi atoned for missing an easier chance when he fired a dipping shot from 30 metres in the 73rd minute, which gave goalkeeper Liam Little no chance. Nine minutes later Jake Butler, who had replaced Paul Seaman, twisted his body cleverly to chest home a cross from Allan Pearce.

The fourth goal came to another second-half substitute, Daniel Koprivcic, who finished a concerted attack in time added on.

Allan Pearce (left) leaves Otago's Jessie Malloy in his wake. Photo: Shane Wenzlick coach Chris Milicich insisted that he was never worried that his team would fail to break down Otago's defences, which often saw nine players defending and John Lang playing the lone ranger role up front.

"They were the most negative side I've ever seen," he said. "We couldn't get round them or over them so we had to be a bit clever. When we saw the way, we got through.

"I thought we played some good football. We passed well and we moved well and Neil Emblen did a superb job at the back."

Milicich credited the roles played by substitutes Butler and Koprivcic in breaking down the defence and creating opportunities that had few and far between in the first half.

One of the key moments in the game came in the 57th minute when Otago player-coach Terry Phelan left the field with a groin injury. He may be 40 going on 41 but was the marshal of the smothering defence.

"They're a quality side and we haven't got that side," Phelan said. "I didn't think they were worth four goals. When one player comes off, it shouldn't make such a difference to a side.

Waitakere's Benjamin Totori (centre) is well marked by Otago's John Chasholm (left) and Terry Alvino. Photo: Shane Wenzlick"We performed brilliantly in the first half, but one change in the second half and we fall apart."

Piqued by criticism of his defensive tactics, Phelan countered: "What are we supposed to do, come out and attack away from home. I couldn't give a damn what the other coach thinks."

Otago have now gone 23 games without a win but Phelan insists he's no quitter.

"I wish people would give us a break," he said. "It's very hard to get experienced players down to Dunedin. You can't buy experience. They've got experience right through their squad and we haven't."

Waitakere were without two of their most experienced players. Danny hay dropped out with bronchitis and Darren Bazeley had work commitments. Both are expected back for the clash with Wellington next Sunday.

Otago get a chance to put their feet up over the Christmas break but the hard work begins again on January 5 at home to Canterbury United.

Photos: Shane Wenzlick


Team Sheet

Waitakere United


Otago United

22 Simon Eaddy GK)

1 Liam Little (GK)

2 Jonathan Perry

2 Nick Dale ( 69)

7 Jason Hayne ( 52)

3 Terry Phelan ( 59)

8 Commins Menapi

5 Kevin Taylor

9 Benjamin Totori

6 Terry Alvino

10 Allan Pearce

9 John Lang ( 61)

11 Neil Sykes

11 Andy Coburn

15 Chris Bale (78)

15 John Chisholm

16 Neil Emblen

16 Jessie Malloy

21 Graham Pearce

17 Croyden Wheeler

33 Paul Seaman (59)

18 Mike Smith



1 Richard Gillespie (RGK)

12 Aaron Burgess ( 61)

4 Matt Cunneen

19 Dave Shaw

14 Hoani Edwards (78)

7 Tom Connor ( 59)

13 Daniel Kopravcic  (52)

14 Chad Severs ( 69)

17 Jake Butler  (59)



= Sub On

 = Sub Off

=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card


Play by Play

 Danny Hay is a late defection from Waitakere. Graham Pearce comes into the team. Otago welcome back Chad Severs but he starts on the bench. Hot and humid but with a breeze from the north. 

 0 mins

Waitakere playing with wind in first half

4 mins

John Lang shot saved by Eaddy

5 mins

Wheeler hurt but recovers

11 mins

Sykes mispass puts Lang clear but he fails to profit

22 mins

Otago are getting nine men behind the ball and Waitakere attacks are frustrated by lack of control

25 mins

Freekick by Perry earns corner, falls to Sykes headed clear by Chisholm. Otago living dangerously

29 mins

Allan Pearce does well to cross from right but nobody there to finish off.

33 mins

Wheeler caps good movement with weak shot. Easy for Eaddy

38 mins

Long-range shot by Allan Pearce finger-tipped over bar by Little. Still no score.

44 mins

Alvino crosses but smother tackle by Emblen saves the day

45 mins plus one

HALFTIME-0-0 after a fairly even first half. Waitakere too innacurate against an unambitious Otago

47 mins

Shots by Seaman and Hayne in the oening minutes of the second half, but Little isn't tested.

52 mins

SUB Waitakere - Daniel Kopravcic replaces Jason Hayne

57 mins

Terry Phelan looks like he's got a groin strain. Goes down, games stops.

58 mins

Totori wriggles free to get inside the six yard box, but his shot towards the back post hits an Otago leg on the line and is scrambled clear

59 mins

SUB Otago - Tom Connor comes on for an injured Terry Phelan

59 mins

SUB Waitakere - Jake Butler comes on for Paul Seaman

61 mins

Menapi misses from eight yards after Totori creates an opening.

61 mins

SUB Otago - Aaron Burgess replaces Otago's lone ranger up front, John Lang

65 mins

GOAL! 1-0 Menapi finishes at the far post. He meets a deep cross form Graham Pearce, who was set in space on the right by Chris Bale.

66 mins

SUB Otago - Chad Severs replaces Nick Dale. Otago wil go 4-4-2 after begining with 5-4-1.

69 mins

Menapi misses another short range effort.

73 mins

GOAL! 2-0 Menapi finds his range and it's about 30 metres. A lovely curling effort that ends up top left corner. 

76 mins

Liam Little saves at the feet of Allan Pearce. The play sweeps down the other end and Severs puts it past Eaddy to be called back for offside.

78 mins

SUB Waitakere - Chris Bale leaves the field. Hoani Edwards comes on.

81 mins

GOAL 3-0! Allan Pearce rampages down the right flank and delevers a flat cross that Jake Butler turns in with his chest

83 mins

Wiatakere win a free kick which Neil Emblen blast wide. Very wide.

90+1 mins

GOAL! 4-0 Allan PEarce rampages down the right flank and delivers a flat cross which Daniel Koprivcic turns in with his chest.

90+3 mins

FULLTIME: 4-0. Waitakere finish quite comfortable in the end. It was tough for the first hour but once the first went in, the flood gates opened somewhat. Otago lost something went Phelan went off, and even though they changed the formation to find a goal, it never came.