NZFC - Round 17, Newtown Park
March 8, 2008
Luis Corrales 70, 90
Halftime: 0-0 Referee: Matt Conger Crowd: 400
by Gordon Irving at Newtown Park
It wasn’t just Team Wellington’s players that had to remain patient during today’s New Zealand Football Championship match against Waikato at Newtown Park, their supporters had to endure a poor match before the home team put the visitors away 2-0.
There was little quality football on show from the two sides apart from the second half goals from Luis Corrales.
His first was a breathtaking counter attack in the 70th minute. Team Wellington broke forward after a Waikato corner and Corrales picked up the ball inside his own half and proceeded to outpace the trailing defenders before slotting his effort beneath the despairing body of Danny Robinson.
Corrales then signed off with his second, three minutes into injury time at the end of the game. Picking the ball up on the edge of the Waikato penalty area, he created some space before firing his left footed effort into Robinson’s bottom right hand corner. It proved to be the last kick of the match as the whistle went straight after.
Outside of those two pieces of brilliance from Corrales, the game was pedestrian. Not that Team Wellington assistant coach Charlie Howe was complaining. Howe has taken charge of the side while head coach Stu Jacobs qualifies an under 23 team for the Beijing Olympic Games. Team Wellington has won all three games since Howe has been in charge, scoring 11 goals and conceding none.
“It’s been great but I’m happy to hand it all back to Stu. We didn’t play well today but we got the three points and that’s all that’s really important.”
“We had a difficult build up to the game. Steve Gulley pulled out at the last minute, Rupert Ryan wasn’t available and we had to give Karl Whalen and Raf de Gregorio fitness tests before the match,” said Howe.
They say that if you get the little things right then the big things tend to take care of themselves and maybe that’s a lesson Waikato can learn from the game. Three of their players played in different number shirts than those announced at the start of the game and officials couldn’t even get a number for defender Che Bunce prior to the game and had to wait until the player took the field to find out which shirt he was wearing.
The first 45 minutes of the game had few talking points apart from a couple of blinding saves from both goalkeepers, keeping the game scoreless at the break.
Not much changed after the halftime break, with the game being played in the middle third of the field for large patches. That was until Corrales used his incredible pace and no little skill to break the deadlock.
Waikato came close to an equaliser with time running out on the watch as Imray scrambled across his goal only to see the shot drift wide.
That was it though and Howe knows that while it was good enough for the points today, it won’t be good enough later in the season.
“If we play like that against a good side we’ll get kicked.”
“But to be fair the boys have been working really hard and while Luis scored two great goals I would have to say that the big man between the sticks was our player of the day. He kept another clean sheet and that enabled us to win the game.”
“Phil’s kept clean sheets in the last three games and if you can do that you’ll win games.”
Team Wellington head up to the Bay next weekend for what could be a difficult match against Hawkes Bay United.”
“We were just a bit flat today and we’ll need to wake ourselves up for the Hawkes Bay game next weekend,” said Howe.
Photos: Marty Melville
GK Phil Imray
1 Danny Robinson
4 Jamie Farrington
2 David Samson
6 Adam Birch
6 Sam Wilkinson
10 Luis Corrales
9 Mike Gwyther
13 Karl Whalen
10 Luke Findlay
14 Darren Cheriton
14 Stu Watene
15 Graham Little
18 Stanley Waita
16 Raf de Gregorio
21 Chris Wood
17 Wiremu Patrick
24 Matt Friel
19 Sean Douglas
25 Jeff Sole
22 Michael Eager
12 Che Bunce
RGK Sasha Nathu
11 Paul Stewart
5 Peter Howe
20 Nick Robson
18 Peter Halstead
28 Dale Beattie
23 Tim Schaeffers
26 Allen Chote
=2 yellow cards
= red card
It's a sunny, warm but breezy day in the capital for today's match
Karl Whalen and Raf de Gregorio have passed late fitness tests for TW and will play
Waikato will be playing towards the zoo end of the ground in the first half
2' first good chance as Raf de Gregorio beats the offside trap but his touch round Robinson is too heavy and goes for a goalkick
6' flag goes up early and Graham Little is stopped in his tracks. Close call that one
8' Luis Corrales gets some space on the corner of the Waikato area but his left footed effort is too high.
11' Corrales beats Bunce for space and screams into the area, looks up to pick his spot and Robinson blocks for a corner
14' two quick corners by Waikato and with the second Imray punches strongly under pressure
17' alot of huffing and puffinf but little finesse so far from either side. A goal would be nice just to spice things up a bit
19' Corrales beats the offside trap with his pace and Darren Cheriton just needs a good cross and it's 1-0 but Coralles' cross goes behind
22' chance for Waikato as the pass splits the TW defence and a one on one for Chris Wood but this time Imray gets enough behind it to clear the danger
28' just the two chances so far in the half - something needs to happen soon
30 Great save by Imray. Waikato sliced TW open and the chance fell to Chris Wood in the middle of the goal just six yards out. It had to be 1-0 but his shot is saved by Imray. But a good chance for Waikato
38' Waikato down to ten men as Bunce is off getting attention to an injury and TW force a corner, which is sent over and bounces narrowly past the post
42' fingertip save by Robinson from a Corrales screamer - that's a bit better
44' here's a chance for Waikato as Cheriton handles on the edge of the area mid goal
45' free kick taken by Friel and it beats the wall but is turned round the post by Imray
Halftime at Newtown Park and it's scoreless but at least things livened up in the latter stages of the half. TW prolific in the last two weeks in front of goal have come up short so far today.
Second half is underway at Newtown - if anyone with influence is listening, can we please have a goal
We had a streaker, of sorts, at halftime - he had his boxers on, so don't think it counts
49' mazy run by Waikato's Findlay takes him past three players until his cross is lifted into the hammer throw circle behind the goal.
56' substitution for Waikato, Stanley Waita is off and 23 is on but as Waikato have not informed us of anyone in a number 23 we can't tell you who he is
58' TW assistant coach Charlie How has talked about being patient and this is one of those games where patience will be needed by the team lying third in the table. Chances are few today
59' in saying that we've just had a turn and shot in the area from Graham Little but his effort is weak
64' we've been informed that the Waikato sub is Dale Beattie
67' second sub for Waikato Watene off for Paul Stewart and again Waikato have given us the wrong numbers. Informed that Watene was to be wearing 14 he has in fact turned out in 17. It can't be that hard can it?
70' WHAT A GOAL! Luis Corrales runs more than half the length of the pitch and his speed takes him away from the defence and he slots under Robinson for 1-0 to TW
72' yellow card for Michael Eager who is then replaced by Peter Halstead
82' sub for Waikato Gwyther off for Robson
84' sub for TW as Whalen is off to be replaced by Allen Chote
88' almost the equaliser as a snap shot from Friel has Imray scampering but it goes past the post
90' into 3 minutes of added time at the end of the game
93' GOAL 2-0 and it's Corrales who works space on the edge of the area and slots it away into the corner.
FULLTIME that's it Corrales's goal was the last kick of the match and TW have edged what was a poor game