NZFC - Round 20, English Park, 13 January 2008
|Bryan Little 14|
Grant Young 56, 82
Halftime: 0 - 1 Referee: Neil Fox Crowd: 300
by Gavin Searle at English Park
Young's 56th and 82nd minute goals highlighted a strong second-half from Auckland City who overcame a determined Canterbury United 3-0 at English park.
Scotsman Bryan Little ended a three-match goalless streak to give Auckland a 14th minute lead and regain top spot in the golden boot race from Waikato's Robert Gill with seven goals in eight starts
Canterbury were bouyed by the 1-0 scoreline at halftime but Auckland saved their best football for the second half and could have won by a bigger margin, hitting the woodwork several times.
"With Canterbury losing players during the week it was a difficult challenge for us, mentally it least, but we end home with the three points," Auckland coach Colin Tuaa said afterwards.
"We are creating chances but more importantly [we kept a] clean sheet."
Newly appointed Canterbury captain, Bill Robertson, was obviously disappointed after the gritty first half fight, commendable given the Dragons had slumped to the foot of the table and lost experienced playmakers Stuart Kelly and Blair Scoullar the previous week.
"We came in buzzing at the break but we gave away too much procession after the break and that allowed Auckland to get on top," the defender said.
Canterbury tried to take the game to Auckland in the first half and created several half chances that they could not convert into goals.
Auckland took the lead when Little tapped home from a Young cross with Canterbury appealing to the assistant for offiside. Late in the half Canterbury had chances to level with the best falling to Rhodri Payne but Auckland goalkeeper Ross Nicholson did well to smother the ball.
Henry Fa'arodo hit the cross bar against his old club with Auckland then doubling the lead from a corner with Young scoring after receiving a pin-point header from Jeff Campbell. Within minutes of coming on, sometimes All Whites striker Paul Urlovic went close twice for Auckland, once hitting and then shaving the post.
Young completed the scoring with eight minutes remaining after a great run and cross from Chad Coombes. In added time Fa'arodo should have scored but somehow pushed the ball over the bar with an open goal begging.
Things do not get any easier for Canterbury who now take on second placed Waitakere United in Christchurch next Sunday while Auckland host second-from-bottom Otago United.
Photos: Kevin Clarke www.cmgsport.co.nz
1. Adam Highfield (GK)
1. Ross Nicholson (GK)
2. Glen Squire (off 32)
5. Ben Sigmund (capt)
4. Bill Robertson (capt)
6. Ki-Hyung Lee
5. Michael Bothwell
10. Grant Young
6. Garry McDermott
11. Luiz Del Monte (off 81)
9. Dave Walker (off 74)
15. Jeff Campbell (off 81)
11. Tom Lancaster
18. Henry Fa'arodo
12. Jeremy Wild
17. Bryan Little (off 59)
15. Rhodri Payne
21. Riki Van Steeden
17. Ryan Faichnie
26. Rupesh Puna
21. Sam Jasper (off 62)
8. Chad Coombes
7. Michael Fiffi (on 74)
9. Paul Urlovic (on 59)
16. Yusaku Okubo (on 62)
12. Tamati Williams (RGK)
19. Matt Boyd (on 32)
4. Alex Feneridis (on 81)
22. Michael O'Keeffe (RGK)
22. Sam Mathews (on 81)
23. Gareth Turnbull
24. Sam Campbell
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Welcome to a very warm English Park were the Temp is currently 25 and rising. Canterbury United go into the game as long shots at the bottom of the table with Auckland City head the NZFC table.
Play is under way
Early pressure by Auckland with Canterbury having to clear line several times
Canterbury first shot on goal wide from Rhodri Payne
GOAL: 0 - 1 Auckland take the wide as Auckland City in behind Canterbury defense with Grant Young square ball to Bryan Little who has simple tap in
No change to score but to Canterbury's credit they are looking at getting forward whenever on the ball
From Auckland corner Luiz Del Monte pushes ball high over bar
Glenn Squire limps off for Canterbury replaced by Matt Boyd
Flowing move from Canterbury ends with Garry McDermott shot just going wide
From Auckland free kick diving header from Henry Fa'arodo shaves post wide
Canterbury's free corner has Ross Nicholson blocking shot from Payne
3 mins added time
Half time. Canterbury go to the break a goal down but have created chances that could have seen them go to the break level while Auckland have looked dangerous when getting in behind Canterbury defence
Back under way no changes to either side
Sam Jasper cautioned for Canterbury after tackle on Little
Shot on turn by Fa'arodo crashes on to crossbar for Auckland
Auckland have made a strong start to second half creating several clear chances which has Canteebury pinned in their own half
GOAL: 0 - 2 From a corner an unmarked Jeff Campbell has time to pick out Grant Young to head home
Sub Little off replaced by Paul Urlovic for Auckland
Sub Jasper off for Canterbury replaced by Yusaku Okubo
Urlovic shot hits crossbar
Canterbury nearly punished after only half clearing ball to Young who's shot is just wide.
Unmarked Urlovic shaves post with shot
Sub Michael Fifii replaces Dave Walker for Canterbury
Sub Alex Feneridis replaces Luiz Del Monte, Sam Matthews replaces Jeff Campbell
GOAL!!! 0 - 3 Great run by Chad Coombes who cross is missed by Bill Robertson with Young firing home hissecond goalm
3 minutes added time
90 mins + 2
From a Auckland freekick somehow Fa'arodo pushed ball ove bar with goal open
Full Time 0 - 3: A strong second half from Auckland sees them extend their lead and stay on top of table. Review and photos to follow