NZFC - Round 2,
Centennial Park, Ngaruawahia, Saturday 15 November, 2008
Steven Holloway 76 (pen)
Paul Urlovich 23
Halftime: 0-1 Referee: Peter O'Leary Crowd: 550
by Matt Richens at Centennial Park
Both Auckland City and Waikato FC leave Ngaruawahia's Centennial Park somewhat happy, but with work to do after Auckland won 3-1.
Two goals in two minutes in the middle of the second spell to the Aucklanders wrecked the game as a contest, but Waikato had caused them more problems than many anticipated.
Paul Urlovic put the visitors ahead when he snuck a low shot past Waikato's Jason Mann in the 23rd minute.
Auckland City was stronger, of that there was little doubt, but they also looked like a team who had been together for a while. Unlike Waikato.
Waikato coach Dave Edmondson said his side had targeted three points from this game, but mistakes and switching off cost them.
Auckland had the most of the chances and did most of the creating.
They weren't as strong as they could have been in midfield thanks to a solid effort in the engine room by the home side, but coach Colin Tuaa was happy enough with how the game panned out.
"We're pretty pleased. The first 20 minutes I thought we dominated the game and created a few chances. The only thing was we should have been two or three ahead by half time but we weren't," he said.
"Waikato came out hard against us like all teams do, but I think we fought well and showed our class."
Auckland's touch and final pass was better which led to more chances on goal. Keryn Jordan and substitue Milos Nikolic were strong up front for the Aucklanders, and when Waikato's defense did lapse, Nikolic pounced twice quickly to score two good striker goals.
Auckland's persistence and a drop in concentration by Waikato took the score from 1-0 in the 68th minute, to 3-0 in the 69th.
There was enough for Waikato to be encouraged with and Auckland, who Tuaa said had improved markedly since last week and have already grabbed six points, lead the league for now. The only goal they have conceded was a freak penalty today. A ball was blasted into the box where an Auckland player was still on the ground and referee Peter O'Leary correctly gave Waikato a penalty for handball. Steven Holloway knocked it is with less than quarter of an hour to go, but Auckland shut it out from there.
Edmondson said he was obviously disappointed to have lost, mainly because he thought his side had dominated large chunks of the encounter.
He said he was also disappointed because if it hadn't been for the lapse of concentration, his side could have grabbed at least a point.
"We got caught out, we were dominating parts of the game and we were going forward and we lost a bit of shape. And one player out of position against a team like this with players like Keryn Jordon and the boy (Milos) Nikolic who came on you'll get punished."
Next week Waikato travel to Christchurch still in search of their first points, while Auckland City have the weekend off to prepare for their crunch derby against Waitakere United the following Wednesday.
Photos: Grant Stantial/Geoff Dickinson
1. Jason Mann
1. Ross Nicholson
2. Joel Mathews
2. Nelson Sale Lilifa
4. Graham Pearce (c)
3. Matt Friel
7. Joe Simpkins (off 89)
5. Matt Williams (off 78)
10. Stu Hogg (off 70)
6. Ki-Hyung Lee
11. Steven Holloway
8. Chad Coombes
13. Shaun van Rooyen
9. Paul Urlovic (off 59)
14. Craig Wylie
11. Alick Maemae (off 66)
18. Nik Keown-Robson
14. Keryn Jordon
24. Michael Mayne (off 50mins)
15. Ivan Vicelich (c)
25. Nathan Strom
21. Rikki van Steeden
3. Ben Hunt (on 50)
7. James Pritchett (on 66)
8. Paul Stewart (on 89)
12. Jacob Spoonley
9. Marco Rojas (on 70)
4. Alex Feneridis (on 78)
16. Sam Margetts
20. Greg Ulhmann
21. Jonathan Stables
24. Milos Nikolic (on 59)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
20 min to kickoff
It’s a great day at Ngaruawahia’s Centennial Park. Little wind, 21 degrees and the pitch looks a picture. This is Waikato’s first real taste of NZFC in a country setting.
New Zealand's best referee Peter O'Leary gets the game underway. Waikato FC are playing north to south and funnily enough, Auckland City are going the other way. By the way, the crowd has already beaten what we got used to last year at Waikato Stadium. Waikato in black, Auckland in white, not that you can see that I guess.
Feeling each other out, Auckland pushed a couple of long balls in for two offsides. Both sides looks set up in 4-4-2 variations.
Waikato monopolising possession, but no shots either way. The home side standing up to the big boys, and captain Pearce gets some sort of warning for team back chat - possibly
first shot, Keryn Jordan one on one with Jason Mann, Mann goes the right way low and puts the ball out for corner, feably cleared but Auck shoot wide
Waikato giving too much ball away, but Auckland not dominating as Colin Tuaa would like.
Ki-Hyung Lee lazy tackle on Keown-Robson - yellow card but free kick cleared easily
Cross from Michael Mayne for Waikato and Hogg has free header, aims for bottom corner but goes just wide
Yellow card to Stu Hogg fro Waikato
GOAL! - 1-0 Auckland City - Urlovich slots nicely past the keeper for an Auck lead. The loud blowie things Waikato have given out are now quiet - thank goodness
could have been 2-0, Alick Maemae beats Mann from the corner of the box, but hits far post and bounces back, between Mann and goal and to a Waikato player. The home side need more composure on the ball, and more ball.
Waikato have a shout for a penalty, admittedly mainly the crowd were shouting. No pen, good call Mr O'Leary and co
Great flick from Holloway to Hogg, poor first touch and shot is from too wide and doesn't trouble Nicholson. Auck look like a side who have played together for years, Waikato are lacking too many touches and final passes to be threatened with the same claim
Same combination, but Hogg's run a touch too early and gets flagged, Nicholson flicked shot over anyway. Man he's a big unit - compared to Waikato who have just one player over six feet tall.
Vicelich gets up to meet a corner, miles above anyone else, but it's a grazing header which goes wide. Should have done better
1-0 halftime. Waikato will be disappointed to have gone behind. They made a lot of the early play, but lost the ball far too often. Auckland too have been far from their best.
second spell underway and immediately Holloway has a shot pushed wide by Nicholson for a corner - Waikato's first
Wylie delivers the corner - straight to Nicholson. Surely they know they aren't going to get many chances so need to make the most of them.
SUB - Mayne for Ben Hunt - and Auckland waste a corner
Stoke City giant throw-in from Strom - chance for Waikato but saved. Immediately Auckland have two long range chances, neither hit well, both saved easily by Mann
Mann makes two sprawling saves, the second from Ngaruawahia's own Matt Williams. Urlovich, the goal scorer, off for MIlos Nikolic
Two straight corners for Auck, first out for second, second pushed wide by Williams again. Waikato need to bring on one of their young striker substitutes, Rojas needs to come on soon!
Waikato's second croner, six in the box, but straight to Nicholson again. Didn't work last time, not sure why they thought it would this time.
Maemae shoots from 35 - insert duck shooting joke here - and he misses his target by a long way. And get substituted for Pritchett immediately
SUB Pritchett on for Maemae and corner for Waikato - even monmey says it's going to Nicholson
Turned into two corners, neither reached Nicholson, neither looked dangerous
GOAL! 2-0 Auck - substitute Milos Nkolic jumps on a loose ball in the box after Mann made a handy save. Balls knocked under Mann for second Auck goal. BRING ON ROJAS
GOAL!! 3-0 20 second later, Nikoloc scores again, great cross, tide volley from close range. Game over.
Rojas for Hogg - bolting horse comes to mind
PEN - Auck player on the ground when ball blasted in, handled it. Holloway in...
GOAL 3-1 Holloway goes right, Nicholson doesn't. enough time...? maybe
SUB Williams off for Feneridis - and Auck have about five quick chances in scramble. Mann having a great game in goal, pity his defenders aren't
first dull patch of the second half Waikato pushing forward, but getting nowhere
Big throw-in for Waikato again, can they ise it... no
Auck having most of the possession and Waikato looking SUB Simpkins off for Stewart. And another great save by Mann
Full time, 3-1 to a slicker Auckland City side. Better finishing and batter last touches were the differences. Stay tuned for full report and coaches' comments.