Auckland City FC
NZFC - Round 11, Croatian Club, Sunday 3 February 2008 4pm
Grant Young 13
Halftime: 2-0 Referee: Neil Fox Crowd: 635
by Bob Pearce at the Croatian Culutural Society
Auckland City showed the depth of their resources when they bounced back from their first defeat of the season to beat Waikato 2-0.
With two players suspended and a host of injuries, this was a very different team to the one that lost 2-0 to Waitakere last weekend.
Stung by that defeat Auckland came out strongly at the Croatian Cultural Society ground and by halftime had established what turned out to be the winning margin.
They learned at the break that Waitakere were losing to Manawatu and that was enough to see them maintain their lead in a lack-lustre second spell.
Two of the team's veterans provided the goals. In the 13th minute Grant Young beat the offside trap as he ran on to a defence-splitting pass from Salesh Kumar and chipped the ball past goalie Danny Robinson.
In the 39th minute Ky-Hyung Lee found himself 25 metres out with nobody to pass to. He juggled the ball to his powerful right foot and fired a dipping rocket of a shot that gave Robinson no chance.
Both teams had chances in the second spell but neither goalkeeper was severely tested as shots flew wide and high from both teams.
"We were slow out of the blocks," said Roger Wilkinson, the Waikato coach.
"But full marks to Auckland. They took their goals well and the second one was superb."
"By halftime we had a mountain to climb. We rely a lot on Robert Gill for our attacks and he's been struggling with a groin injury."
"He gives us something in the air when he's there but when he went off early in the second half we were a bit short up front."
Auckland coach Colin Tuaa was delighted with the way his team played, especially in the first half.
"It was a fantastic effort after the disappointment last week. I thought some of the younger players showed they were up for it and Lee's goal was just great."
It was probably the best game the former Korean international has turned on for his home fans after a rather subdued performance against a tough-marking Waitakere defence last week.
His ball control was immaculate and his vision with passes to his team-mates continually kept the Waikato defence under pressure. As well as his missile of a goal, he launched a freekick which blistered its way past the outside of a post.
Auckland gave starts to youngsters Alex Feneridis and Adam McGeorge and they showed they are not out of place at this level. Joel Mathews, who struggled last week, made a real contribution from the back this time.
Waikato had Jeff Sole and Hone Fowler to thank for some stalwart defending but the midfield gave too much ball away in the first half to allow Gill and Steven Holloway to prosper.
Auckland City FC
1 Ross Nicholson (GK)
1 Danny Robinson (GK)
2 Joel Mathews
5 Aaron Scott
6 Ki-Hyung Lee
25 Jeff Sole
9 Paul Urlovic (out 66)
3 Hone Fowler
10 Grant Young
17 Stewart Watene (out 46)
13 Alex Feneridis (out 76)
2 David Sampson
15 Jeff Campbell
6 Sam Wilkinson
16 George Suri (out 77)
7 Joe Simpkins (out 64)
19 Salesh Kumar
14 Shaun van Rooyen
20 Greg Uhlmann
12 Robert Gill (out 53)
25 Adam McGeorge
15 Steven Holloway
12 Tamati Williams
11 Paul Stewart (in 46)
24 Sam Campbell (in 77)
10 Luke Findley (in 53)
27 John Niyonsaba (in 66)
18 Stanley Waita (in 64)
26 Lance Heslop (in 76)
19 Junya Nakahashi
4 Tom Edwards
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Hot, humid and cloudy with a modest crowd keeping their eyes on some black clouds in the west.
Waikato playing with wind
Shot by Jeff Campbell blocked by defender.
Right wing corner to Waikato, long clearance to Young, cleared by goalie sliding outside penalty area.
Shot by Urlovic well blocked by goalie after clever pass by Young
GOAL! Pass by Salesh Kumar splits defence and Young chips ball past goalie Robinson for 1-0 Auckland.
Lee shoots powerfully wide from edge of penalty area.
Freekick by Lee eludes goalie but scrambled away
GOAL! Lee looks for someone to pass to, then opts to shoot right-footed dipping into goal from 25 metres out.
One minute of time added on.
45 plus one
Halftime 2-0 and probably a fair margin considering the paucity of Waikato shots on goal
Substitution Waikato Paul Stewart on for Stu Watene.
Substitution Luke Findley for Robert Gill.
Right-wing corner to Waikato scrambled away by Suri.
Hone Fowler heads over top from a corner.
Feneridis crosses, Young fires just wide.
Waikato substitution Stanley Waita on for Joe Simpkins
Auckland substitution John Niyonsaba on for Paul Urlovic
Auckland substitution Lance Heslop for Alex Feneridis
Joel Mathews clears from Luke Findley with goal beckoning
Auckland substitution Sam Campbell for George Suri
Niyonsaba just wide with turn and shot
Yellow card for Waita tackle.
Shot by Jeff Campbell well saved by Robinson
Steven Holloway shot just wide as Nicholson dives full length
90 plus three
Final whistle Auckland deserve 2-0 win to go top of table again